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Burma 'seriously considering' allowing ASEAN observers to monitor elections

Rangoon, Wed, 22 Feb 2012 ANI

Rangoon, Feb 22 (ANI): Burma is 'seriously considering' a proposal to allow observers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to monitor its upcoming by-elections.


The regional bloc said in a statement that the move to admit observers "will boost transparency" and "add to the international goodwill" that the country had garnered so far.


According to The BBC, Burmese President Thein Sein told this to ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, who was on a four-day visit to the country.


If observers are allowed for the April 1 poll for 48 parliamentary seats, it would be a first for the country.


Burma has been awarded the Asean chairmanship in 2014.


The military-backed civilian government has recently taken steps towards reform aimed at encouraging the European Union and the United States to lift their sanctions.


These include the release of 651 prisoners last month, many of whom were high-profile political dissidents.


Burma also signed ceasefire agreements with ethnic minority rebel groups, but the process has met some challenges and setbacks. (ANI)


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