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Myanmar constitutional referendum erases 1990 opposition triumph: junta

[JURIST] Last month's constitutional referendum [JURIST report] in Myanmar approving a new national charter put forward by the military has effectively "washed away" any mandate to govern claimed by opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD), state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar [media website] said Tuesday. The NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], won the 1990 general elections easily, but the ruling military government did not recognize the result and placed Suu Kyi under house arrest. The NLD has rejected the legitimacy of the referendum [Mizzima.com report], which overwhelmingly approved [JURIST report] the junta-backed draft constitution [JURIST news archive]. Voice of America has more. AFP has additional coverage.

The draft constitution reportedly reserves 25 percent of parliamentary seats for the military [AP report; JURIST report] and also blocks Suu Kyi from seeking office. Last Tuesday, the military junta extended Suu Kyi's house arrest [JURIST report], to the frustration and anger of the international community.

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