Myanmar government says draft constitution ready for referendum

[JURIST] A committee appointed by the military government of Myanmar [JURIST news archive] has completed work on a new draft constitution, state media reported Tuesday. The document was drafted by a 54-member constitution-drafting commission appointed by the junta, despite calls from the UN [JURIST reports] that the drafting process be open to outside groups. The draft is scheduled to go to a national referendum [JURIST report] in May, with multi-party general elections to be held in 2010. The military government has not published a draft of the proposed constitution.


 Comment: Referendum in Burma: why now?

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. Myanmar 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. AP has more.

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