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Myanmar confident about elections

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The military junta in Myanmar has plenty of experience in having multiparty general elections, the country's foreign minister told U.N. delegates.

Myanmar is having general elections in November that military rulers said was a path toward civilian leadership in the country. The international community scrutinized a decision by military leaders to disband 10 political parties in September, making them unable to compete in the election.

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Nevertheless, Nyan Win, the country's foreign minister, told the U.N. General Assembly, that there were 37 political parties from different ethnic groups competing in the election.

"Such a large participation made it crystal clear that the elections become virtually inclusive," he said.

Critics complain the election is controlled by the military junta, which gets a guaranteed a 20 percent of the seats in parliament.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Group of Friends on Myanmar this week that Myanmar needed to release Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to lend credibility to the political process.

"This is essential for the elections to be seen as credible and to contribute to Myanmar's stability and development," he said in his statement.

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Suu Kyi is eligible to vote, though she has been under house arrest for nearly 15 years. She led her National League for Democracy to a 1990 victory, though the results were never recognized

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