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Main Burmese Opposition Party Calls for Defeat of Draft Constitution

The party of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is urging voters to reject a proposed new constitution conceived by the country's ruling military regime.

The National League for Democracy issued a statement Wednesday calling on citizens to vote "no" when the charter comes up for approval in a referendum scheduled for May. General elections will be held in 2010.

International critics have denounced the proposed constitution, saying it solidifies the military junta's hold on power. The draft charter also bars Aung San Suu Kyi from the elections, on the grounds that she was once married to a foreigner, a British citizen who died of cancer in 1999.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won Burma's last general elections in 1990, but the country's military leaders ignored the result.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.