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Myanmar Sets November National Election Date

  • VOA News

FILE - Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi gives a speech during a World Press Freedom Day ceremony in Yangon, May 3, 2015.

FILE - Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi gives a speech during a World Press Freedom Day ceremony in Yangon, May 3, 2015.

Myanmar has announced that the country's long-awaited national election will be held on November 8.

The date was confirmed Wednesday by Union Election Commission Director U Thaung Hlaing, according to VOA's Burmese Service.

The opposition National League for Democracy, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, is expected to continue its strong performance at the polls.

But Aung San Suu Kyi will be unable to run for president, after the military-dominated parliament last month rejected a constitutional reform measure.

The measure would have ended the army's legislative veto power, making it easier to change the constitution.

Under the current charter, Myanmar's military has 25 guaranteed parliament seats, enough to block constitutional changes it does not like.

The constitution forbids anyone with foreign children from running for president. Aung San Suu Kyi, whose sons are British, is ineligible for the post.

The decision was seen as a setback for Myanmar's political transition, which began in 2011 when the military, which had ruled the country for decades, handed power to a mostly civilian government.

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