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Myanmar opposition groups reject proposed constitutional referendum

[JURIST] Two opposition groups in Myanmar, the 88 Generation Students [Asia Times backgrounder] and the National League for Democracy (NLD) [Wikipedia backgrounder], on Monday urged citizens to reject a proposed constitutional referendum put forth by Myanmar's military government. In a statement to Reuters, the 88 Generation Students called the proposal a "sham" to legalize military rule. Last Saturday, the military government announced in a television broadcast that it will hold a constitutional referendum in May [JURIST report], and promised that multi-party elections will follow in 2010. The military government has not published a draft of the proposed constitution.

Myanmar has been governed without a constitution since the military regime took power in 1988. Talks on a new national charter [JURIST report] have been underway for 14 years. In December 2007, the military government said that the new constitution would be drafted solely by a 54-member constitution-drafting commission [JURIST report], rejecting UN calls for the country's constitution-drafting process to be opened to outside groups. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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