Myanmar to hold polls in October or November: official

NAYPYIDAW, March 27, (AFP) -Military-ruled Myanmar will hold national elections in the last week of October or in early November, a senior official told AFP Saturday.“

Myanmar leader senior general Than Shwe

The candidates will get about six months for campaigning after they have registered as political parties. The elections will be in the last week of October or early in November,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The junta has not announced a date for the polls but earlier this month it released election laws that were criticised for barring political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, from standing.

New party registration laws also mean that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party must expel her in order to be able to contest the vote.

The elections will be the first held since 1990 polls, which the NLD won by a landslide but which were never recognised by the military.

The NLD has yet to decide if it will take part in the vote. Critics say the polls are a sham designed to legitimise the ruling generals' grip on power, and that an NLD boycott would further damage their credibility.

Suu Kyi, a 64-year-old Nobel peace laureate, has been in detention for 14 of the last 20 years.

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