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Burma Says New Constitution Washes Away NLD Victory


Burma's state media say a referendum approving a new military-backed constitution has "washed away" the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party in 1990 elections.

The official New Light of Myanmar newspaper Tuesday says last month's approval of the new constitution outdates the 1990s landslide election victory of the opposition National League for Democracy.

The paper does not refer to Aung San Suu Kyi or her party by name, but says the opposition will now have to seek a new mandate when promised elections are held in 2010.

The NLD has rejected the results of the referendum, which Burma says was approved by more than 92 percent of voters on a 98 percent turnout.

NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from running in the 2010 election because she was married to a foreign national.

Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD won by a landslide 18 years ago, but the military never recognized the result and did not let the party take power.

The Nobel peace laureate has been kept under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years. Her detention was extended last week for another six months. Her British husband died in 1999.

Most of the country voted on May 10 of this year, just a week after winds, waves and rain from Cyclone Nargis swamped most of southern Burma and killed tens of thousands of people.

In the worst-affected areas, where many storm victims are still living in temporary shelters, the referendum was delayed for two weeks.

Last month, the European Parliament condemned what it called the Burmese leaders' "distorted priorities," for staging a referendum in many areas where storm survivors had not received any relief supplies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.