Singapore says Myanmar's election date a positive development

Other News Materials 10 February 2008 17:49 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Singapore said Sunday Myanmar's plan to hold a constitutional referendum in May and general election in 2010 was a positive development.

The city-state, which holds the chairmanship of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), expressed the hope that the political process results in "peaceful national reconciliation," the Foreign Ministry said.

Myanmar's military's junta, the target of international criticism for its failure to turn over power to a democratically elected government in 1990, said Saturday the referendum would be held to approve a new constitution in May and democratic elections would be held in 2010.

The National League for Democracy party of Aung San Suu Kyi won the 1990 election, but the Nobel peace laureate was subsequently detained and placed under house arrest.

Last year the international community increased pressure on the junta to accelerate its plans for a return to democracy after authorities brutally suppressed non-violent pro-democracy protesters in September. At least 30 people were killed.

Singapore sharply criticized the regime. ASEAN however came under widespread criticism for not taking any action against Myanmar.

ASEAN includes Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Myanmar has not had a constitution since the last one was scrapped in 1988.