Obama Bashes Rigged Myanmar Election

Critics say vote a transparent charade
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2010 3:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Vote counting has barely begun in Myanmar after the country's first election in 20 years, but critics say the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Reports have been flying of foul play, the Wall Street Journal reports. President Obama criticized the elections as "fundamentally flawed" and urged the junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. Hillary Clinton criticized the process as well, while Britain's foreign secretary predicted that "they will not be free, fair, or inclusive."

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Sure enough, opposition leaders report widespread cheating and voter intimidation. The junta “are so shameless in their utter craving for power that they brazenly rig votes,” said one National Democratic Forces candidate. Suu Kyi urged supporters to boycott the election altogether, but many were determined to vote against the wildly unpopular junta anyway. “I cannot stay home and do nothing,” one voter told the AP. Officials haven’t announced any results yet, offering only a vague promise that they’ll be revealed “in time.” (Read more Myanmar stories.)

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