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Buzek on Burma/Myanmar new election laws: "This is a move in the wrong direction"

Strasbourg -
Thursday, March 11, 2010

The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek made the following statement on the new election laws in Burma/Myanmar.

"I deplore the decision of Burma/Myanmar authorities on the new election laws.  These laws clearly target pro-democracy campaigners such as Aung San Suu Kyi.  They are politically motivated and restrictive. This is a move in the wrong direction.  I am disappointed and doubt that the elections promised for later this year would be inclusive, free and fair."  

Addressing Aung San Suu Kyi personally, EP President Jerzy Buzek said: "During my own political life, I have worked to establish democracy.  Like you I opposed an authoritarian system.  I understand the difficulties and challenges you are facing.  I wish you every strength and determination in your struggle for freedom and democracy for the people of Burma/Myanmar. "

EP President Buzek stated: "The new election law is not only sad and deplorable news for defendants of democracy and human rights but also jeopardises the chances for national reconciliation in Burma/Myanmar.

For the people of Burma/Myanmar and the whole international community Aung San Suu Kyi has remained a figure of hope, human resilience and political courage for over 20 years.  The European Parliament on a number of occasions called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners and to allow them to fully participate in public and political life.  

As a sign of our full and continuous support, a large banner on the facade of the European Parliament building in Brussels is still calling for her release and reminds us of her battle for democracy.

In line with previous resolutions of the European Parliament and statements from the international community I repeatedly call on the authorities of Myanmar/Burma to immediately and unconditionally release Aung San Suu Kyi."

Aung San Suu Kyi is the 1990 EP Sakharov Prize Laureate for Freedom of Thought.

The Burma/Myanmar authorities have announced that they would bar the country's more than 2,000 political prisoners which would include Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the forthcoming election.

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Richard Freedman, Press Officer
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