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Myanmar poll far from open, U.N. says

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- It is clear that the political system in Myanmar ahead of a November general election is far from inclusive, a U.N. special envoy said.

Myanmar is headed for a general election in just under two weeks. The vote is the first election in two decades, though international observers are questioning the fairness of the process.

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The military junta in Myanmar describes the election as a step toward civilian leadership, though observers question the claim. The military is guaranteed a certain percentage of the seats in the Myanmar parliament.

The military junta disbanded several parties ahead of the election, meaning several ethnic groups aren't represented at the polls. Other groups said they wouldn't take part in the election.

Myanmar delegates at the U.N. General Assembly meeting last month said the number of political parties participating in the election made it "crystal clear" the elections were comprehensive.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the special envoy for human rights in Myanmar, said in a statement, however, that he felt the political system in Myanmar was far from open.

"It is clear that the process has not been inclusive" he said in a statement.

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