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Burma: Politics and Government

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department plans to make to Burmese authorities on the inclusion of opposition parties and ethnic minorities in the process of drafting a new Burmese constitution planned for May 2008. (187080)

The Government have consistently called on the Burmese authorities to include opposition parties and ethnic representatives in the process of drafting a new Burmese constitution.

The regime’s call for a referendum in May 2008, and elections in 2010, was made without consulting the opposition and ethnic representatives. For the process and any timeline to have credibility and for it to lead to genuine national reconciliation, it must include all political and ethnic groups.

On 12 February, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated our demand that the Burmese regime immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi so that she can participate fully in the drafting of a new constitution. He also called for the immediate return of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Burma, Professor Gambari, to the country to help facilitate the process of inclusive decision making and political transition. We shall continue to press the regime to recognise the need for an inclusive and transparent process. For the road map to lead to a stable, sustainable and peaceful democracy, all interested parties must have faith in its mechanisms.