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Polls critical step in Myanmar reform: UN

United States America,Politics, Thu, 12 Apr 2012 IANS

United Nations, April 12 (IANS) The UN Security Council has praised the by-elections held in Myanmar as important progress in the country's democratic reform process.


"Council members welcome the successful by-election as a historic and critical step on the path to consolidating and strengthening Myanmar's democratic reforms," said Susan Rice, permanent representative of the US to the UN.


"They praised the government and the opposition for their conduct of the by-election and for their commitment to moving the country forward," said Rice, the current president of the rotating seat of the council.


Her statements came after the 15-member body for the maintenance of international peace and security met in closed-door consultations on Myanmar, Xinhua reported.


Rice said the council heard a briefing from Vijay Nambiar, who serves as the special adviser of the secretary-general on Myanmar.


"Special adviser Nambiar explained that the election proceeded in a transparent, credible, and peaceful manner," she said. "While some minor irregularities were reported, Nambiar said there were no indications that these had affected the outcome."


The by-election, held on April 1, resulted in the National League for Democracy (NLD), chaired by Aung San Suu Kyi, winning 43 out of 45 vacant parliamentary seats.


Rice said the election of opposition NLD members to parliament offers a "historic opportunity for more inclusive political dialogue" in Myanmar.


She however explained that council members stressed that reform in Myanmar is still in early stages. Rice added that, according to Nambiar, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to visit Myanmar later this month.


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