Myanmar_08_05_10_Deadly_cyclone_overshadows_Myanmar_s_vote_on_constitution.doc - Deadly cyclone overshadows Myanmar's vote on constitution Associate


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Deadly cyclone overshadows Myanmar's vote on constitution Associate Press, 5/10/08 Voting began this city near Yangon and other parts of cyclone-ravaged Mayanmar Saturday on a referendum for a controversial constitution but the balloting was delayed for two weeks in the hardest hit areas, including the capital. The disaster that killed or left missing tens of thousands has overshadowed the vote, which even before the May 3 storm was considered by many a foregone conclusion because the rules are skewed in favor of the military junta that has ruled since 1962. Some 27 million of the country’s 57 million people are eligible to vote, although it is unclear how many will have to cast their ballots on May 24 instead. The new constitution is supposed to be followed in 2010 by a general election. Both votes are elements of a "road map to democracy" drawn up by the junta. The draft constitution guarantees 25 percent of parliamentary seats to the military and allows the president to hand over all power to the military in a state of emergency. Its rules would also bar Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained leader of the country’s pro-democracy movement, from public office. The military refused to honor the results of a 1990 general election won by her National League for Democracy party.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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