Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 17:23 UK

Burma's NLD sets election demands

Members of the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party participate in the party's meeting at its headquarters Tuesday, April 28, 2009
More than 150 delegates turned up to the NLD meeting in Rangoon

Burma's largest opposition party says it will consider taking part in planned elections if the military government meets a series of demands.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) set out its conditions for taking part after a two-day meeting in Rangoon.

In a statement, it urged the release of all political prisoners, including its leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

It also called for changes to the constitution and for international observers to monitor the poll.

The NLD has made similar demands in the past. So far they have not been met.

But analysts say the statement is still a departure from the NLD's previous calls for the government to honour the results of Burma's last general election in 1990.

The NLD won that poll by a landslide but the results were ignored by Burma's ruling generals.

'Final decision' delayed

The party held a national meeting in Rangoon to discuss its stance on the general election scheduled for 2010.

But the NLD chairman, Aung Shwe, said the party would wait to see new election rules drawn up by the ruling military before making a final decision on whether or not to participate.

The ruling junta has said it will hold elections under a revised constitution.

But the NLD says the junta's constitution is fundamentally flawed.

"The constitution's main objective is for the propagation of perpetual military rule in this country and therefore is not acceptable," Aung Shwe told the meeting.

The military has reserved 25% of the seats in any future parliament for itself.

The meeting began just one day after the EU extended sanctions against Burma and renewed calls for the release of all political prisoners.

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