New York, NY (BBN)– Voicing concern over the decision by Myanmar’s Election Commission to dissolve 10 political parties, including the National League for Democracy (NLD), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called on the country’s authorities to ensure that November’s elections are fully inclusive.
Last month Mr. Ban called on the authorities to release all remaining political prisoners so that they could fully participate in Myanmar’s political life in the polls – the country’s first in 20 years – which are due to be held on 7 November.
He has repeatedly called for the release of all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and head of the NLD, who has been under house arrest for much of the past two decades, and was sentenced last August to an additional 18 months of house arrest.
Spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters on Wednesday Mr. Ban “notes with some concern” the decision by the Union Election Commission to dissolve 10 political parties, including the NLD and four others for failing to renew their registration.
“The Secretary-General once again urges the Myanmar authorities to ensure conditions conducive for a fully inclusive and participatory electoral process,” he said, adding that a ministerial-level meeting of the Group of Friends of Myanmar, consisting of more than a dozen nations and one regional bloc in support of greater dialogue in the country, is expected to be held in New York on 27 September.
Asked about the role of the UN’s good offices, Mr. Nesirky said that work continued, and he recalled that Mr. Ban had expressed his frustration concerning access to the Myanmar authorities.
BBN/SI/AD-16Sept10-11:13 am (BST)