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Myanmar President Calls Meeting of Top Army, Political Officials

  • VOA News

FILE - Myanmar President Thein Sein delivers a statement concluding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders Summit in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.

FILE - Myanmar President Thein Sein delivers a statement concluding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders Summit in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.

Myanmar President Thein Sein has called for a landmark meeting with representatives of the country's military, top political parties and ethnic minority groups.

The summit to be held Friday in the capital, Naypyidaw, will bring together six political parties, including that of longtime democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The meeting, the first of its kind, comes amid tensions as Myanmar, also known as Burma, emerges from decades of direct military rule.

Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, has been pushing for constitutional changes that would limit the power of the military.

Parliamentary elections

The NLD is expected to perform well during parliamentary elections, which will occur in late October or early November of next year.

It will be the country's second general election since a nominally civilian government took power in 2011 and enacted a series of political and economic reforms.

The reforms have been lauded by the country's opposition leaders, foreign governments and rights groups. But many still complain that the constitution bars Suu Kyi from the presidency, since her late husband and two sons are British.

The constitution also ensures that the military retains at least 25 percent of seats in parliament.

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