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Myanmar enacts law setting procedures for constitutional referendum

[JURIST] The military government of Myanmar [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] Tuesday announced that it has enacted a law to govern the May referendum on a new constitution [JURIST reports] for the country. The government said the law sets procedures for voting, announcing results, and imposing penalties for the violation of its provisions. The government said it has also named the 45 members of the Referendum Convening Commission [JURIST report] set to oversee the process. AP has more.

The constitution-drafting process has come under fire [JURIST report] from critics urging citizens to reject the proposed referendum, calling the proposal a "sham" to legalize military rule. Other opponents, including supporters of detained Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi [advocacy profile], have stopped just short of calling for a boycott. The country has been governed without a constitution since the military regime took power in 1988 and talks on a new national charter [JURIST report] have been underway for 14 years.

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