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Burma Says New Constitution Washes Away NLD Victory

By VOA News
03 June 2008

Burma's state media say a referendum approving a new military-backed constitution has "washed away" the victory won by Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party in 1990 elections.

The official New Light of Myanmar newspaper published an editorial Tuesday, saying the opposition National League for Democracy's landslide win in 1990 was outdated after last month's approval of the new constitution.

The paper, which did not refer to Aung San Suu Kyi or her party by name, says the opposition will now have to seek a new election mandate in elections promised for 2010.

The NLD has rejected the result of the referendum, which Burma says was approved by more than 92 percent of voters on a 98 percent turnout.

Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD won by a landslide 18 years ago, but the military never recognized the result and did not let the party take power.

The Nobel peace laureate has been kept under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years. Her detention was extended last week for another six months.

Most of the country voted on May 10, just a week after winds, waves and rain from Cyclone Nargis swamped most of southern Burma and killed tens of thousands of people.

In the worst-affected areas, where many storm victims are still living in temporary shelters, the referendum was delayed for two weeks.

Last month, the European Parliament condemned what it called the Burmese leaders' "distorted priorities," for staging a referendum in many areas where storm survivors had not received any relief supplies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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