2010-11-08 15:15:28

Fairness questioned as Myanmar army-backed poll count goes on

(November 8, 2010) Myanmar's military will keep its grip on power after the country's first election in 20 years, backed by parties that on Monday looked set to win a vote marred by fraud. Complex rules for Sunday's election thwarted any chance of a pro-democracy upset as Myanmar ends half a century of direct army rule. Official election results trickled out over state media, showing the military and its proxy parties ahead, but a clear picture of who won control of parliament could take a day or longer in the reclusive country where timely information is rare. With the results largely preordained, focus turned to whether Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention, is expected to be freed when her house arrest term expires on Saturday. The United States, Britain, the European Union and Japan epeated calls to free the 65-year-old pro-democracy leader hose National League for Democracy beat an army-backed party by a landslide in in 1990, a result ignored by the military junta. She urged supporters to boycott Sunday's election while about 2,100 political activists or opposition politicians are behind bars.

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