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Myanmar junta leader hints at election by August next year

Yangon, Myanmar

Myanmar junta leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who came to power in a coup on Monday, has hinted that a general election could be held by August next year at the earliest, judging from a speech reported Thursday.

The commander-in-chief’s office said in a press statement that he told a group of business representatives Wednesday that the election would be held within six months of the lifting of a one-year state of emergency, according to constitutional requirements.

The general noted that the 2008 Constitution stipulates that after the state of emergency ends, the military has to hold election within six months’ time and hand over power to the winner.

The military, he said, has made clear that it does not intend to deviate from Myanmar’s course of democracy.

The constitutional article in question, however, allows for a state of emergency to be extended for an additional year, so the future remains uncertain.

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