By KAVI CHONGKITTAVORN
Hanoi- Asean leaders have asked Burma to allow a joint team of observers to monitor its November 7 election, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said yesterday.
At an informal dinner on Wednesday night, Kasit told The Nation that his Asean counterparts had discussed the upcoming Burmese elections, the South China Sea dispute and the master plan on Asean Connectivity.
Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win briefed them on the preparation for the elections including the decision to only let representatives of UN agencies and diplomatic community in Naypyidaw to observe the elections. No other foreign delegations, observers or media are allowed to monitor or report on the polls - a move that has been condemned around the world.
Win said that each agency and diplomatic mission could send a maximum of five representatives to observe any poll station, provided they submitted a request in advance.
At the July meeting in Hanoi, Burma did not respond to the grouping's request to have an Asean team observe the elections. After the briefing, Asean foreign ministers submitted the demand again, adding that Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan be allowed to lead a joint team to observe the polls.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that Burma suffers from a credibility deficit, and his Filipino counterpart Alberto Romulo as been insisting that an election that is not fair, free and inclusive is little more than a farce.
Source: The Nation