Worldwide indignation has met new election laws announced by Burma’s military rulers, in what US government spokesperson Philip Crowley has said is a “democratic mockery.” The BBC reports: “Burma has prohibited political prisoners – including the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi – from participating in forthcoming elections. However, several offices of her National League for Democracy were re-opened for the first time since 2003. ‘Maybe they want to show some flexibility,’ said NLD spokesman Nyan Win, adding that about 100 branch offices had been reopened across the country, including several in the main city, Rangoon. The government had sealed NLD branch offices with red wax after a deadly attack on Ms Suu Kyi’s convoy by pro-regime elements on 30 May 2003. ‘Yes, it’s a positive step,’ he said. ‘I think they want us to take part in the election, but we still haven’t made up our mind about this. We still need to talk it over among the top leaders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.’ But he described the latest laws as ‘completely unacceptable’. Not only do they bar Ms Suu Kyi, but require participants to follow the 2008 constitution, which the NLD rejects and campaigned against. ‘It’s completely impossible for us,’ Nyan Win said.”
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