05 Feb '12, 5pm

Myanmar poll a 'key test' of reform, says UN envoy

Myanmar poll a 'key test' of reform, says UN envoy

YANGON: A top United Nations envoy on Sunday hailed dramatic changes in Myanmar but said by-elections would be a "key test" of the army-backed regime's commitment to reform. UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, welcomed a "continuing wave of reforms" since his last visit in August, but said "serious challenges remain". "The upcoming by-elections on 1 April will be a key test of how far the government has progressed in its process of reform," he told reporters at a press conference to outline his preliminary observations. "It is therefore essential that they are truly free, fair, inclusive and transparent." He said he had been told that the use of international observers was "under consideration" for the poll, which is likely to see opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi swept into parliament. The democracy icon's decision to stand in the poll ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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