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Election in Burma

Published on November 8, 2010
Statement by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, November 7, 2010

The election which took place yesterday in Burma was the first since that won 20 years ago by Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy. For months, France has continuously urged the junta to give the Burmese people back control of their destiny at this election.

This was, however, neither a free nor a multi-party election:

- more than 2,000 people, including Aung San Suu Kyi, are still being detained because of their political convictions;

- the NLD and several parties representing minorities were not party to the process;

- throughout the entire electoral process, the rights of the opposition were not respected as a result of an obvious determination to marginalize certain parties or certain candidates. I regret this, I condemn it.

France will continue to support the cause of all Burmese democrats. She stands alongside Aung San Suu Kyi and all those who, because of their political convictions, have been deprived of their freedom.

France and her European Union partners reiterate their appeal for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all Burmese political prisoners.

I urge the Burmese authorities to commit sincerely to the path of dialogue with all opposition parties, as well as with the minorities, and take all the necessary measures to ensure that Burma regains her rightful place in the international community./.

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