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UN Chief Presses Burmese PM on Election

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) sits listening next to Burma's PM Thein Sein (C-Rear) at the ASEAN-U.N. summit on the sidelines of the 17th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Hanoi, 29 Oct 2010

United Nations officials say Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein to ensure transparent and inclusive elections in the military-ruled country.

A U.N. spokesperson says Mr. Ban met Saturday with the Burmese premier on the sidelines of a Southeast Asia regional summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A statement says the secretary-general also reiterated his call for the release of political prisoners and to lift restrictions on detained pro-Democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win said earlier this week that Aung San Suu Kyi may be freed soon after the November 7 vote.

The election is supposed to transition Burma from military to civilian rule. It has drawn strong international criticism for imposing rules that ensure most of the seats in parliament will go to a pro-government party.

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