EU to send observers to Myanmar
(BRUSSELS) - The European Union on Wednesday announced it would be sending observers to monitor the Myanmar elections on April 1 in which democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is seeking a seat for the first time.
Responding to an invitation by the Myanmar government, EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton "has decided to deploy a small team of experts to be present on election day, joining diplomats from the EU member states embassies in the country," her office said in a statement.
The United States, Australia, Japan, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have also announced they would be sending monitors to oversee the elections.
Myanmar did not allow foreign observers for its 2010 election, which swept the army's political allies to power amid widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation.
But since taking office a year ago, President Thein Sein has surprised even some critics by carrying out reforms including signing ceasefire deals with ethnic minority rebels and releasing hundreds of political prisoners.
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