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Myanmar to resume constitution talks in fall

[JURIST] The ruling military junta in Myanmar [JURIST news archive] will resume negotiations for a new constitution [JURIST report] this fall, Myanmar Ambassador to the Philippines Thaung Tun said Tuesday. Tun told journalists that the constitution is 75 percent complete, and that the parties have "agreed on the basic principles of the new constitution," which include a person in a presidential role, and a bicameral system of parliament, giving the military junta a guaranteed percentage of parliamentary seats. Tun added that Myanmar would resume negotiations as early as October, when the rainy season winds down. The drafting assembly closed constitutional talks in January [JURIST report], with delegates postponing talks until the end of 2006.

Delegates have met intermittently to compose the new constitution since 1993, and the document is the first step on a seven-stage road map aimed at unification, democracy, and free elections for the country. Critics see the convention as a ploy to enable the junta to stay in power. The main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) [party website] is not participating in negotiations. VOA has more.

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