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Minister of State Hoyer welcomes further reform steps in Myanmar and calls for release of all political prisoners

24.11.2011 - Press release

Peaceful demonstrations are to be possible again in Myanmar – this was announced today. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party had earlier decided that it would take part in by-elections to parliament. However, the expected release of other political prisoners has been delayed. In this connection, Minister of State Dr Werner Hoyer, MP, issued the following statement in Berlin today:

“The reports on the reinstatement of the right to demonstrate are encouraging. The decision of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party to take part in by-elections to parliament is remarkable and sends an important message. What matters now is for the Government to enable the holding of truly free and fair elections.
We will make our future relations with Myanmar dependent on the consistent pursuit of the reforms embarked upon by the Government. Apart from the release of all political prisoners, this includes a credible strategy for involving national minorities in the political and societal process.
I made this position clear in my talks with members of the Government in Myanmar. At the same time, I held out the prospect of German support for genuine reforms.”

Myanmar, which experienced decades of military dictatorship, has been under civilian rule for some months now. Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is no longer under house arrest and is permitted to engage politically. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) boycotted the 2010 ballot but, given the Government’s reform course, has now decided to take part in the by-elections to fill 48 parliamentary seats. Minister of State Hoyer visited Myanmar from 3 to 5 November to talk with representatives of Government, parliament, opposition and civil society about current developments.

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