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U.S. hopes for change in Myanmar

U.S. hopes for change in Myanmar
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to a crowd in this undated photo. (UPI Photo) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Washington hopes that whatever government emerges from general elections in Myanmar will proceed along a new path, a U.S. State Department spokesman said.

Myanmar has general elections in November that military authorities said moves the country along the path toward civilian leadership. The military junta was criticized, however, for a decision last month to disband 10 political parties, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.

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The military junta is guaranteed 20 percent of the seats in the next parliament.

P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington has "great concern" about developments in Myanmar.

"We've expressed our concerns about the upcoming electoral process, which we do not believe will be free or fair," he said.

European lawmakers said it "would be a mistake" to put any faith in the upcoming general election.

Military leaders said they would release Suu Kyi from her 15-year house arrest before the election, though world leaders doubt the claim.

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