28 Mar 2010

Myanmar elections will be fair, says military leader

9:23 am on 28 March 2010

Myanmar's military leader, General Than Shwe, has spoken at a military parade of what he called gentle moves toward democracy being made by his country.

Speaking at the annual armed forces day parade in the capital Napyidor, the general said elections planned for later this year would be free and fair.

However no date for the poll has yet been set, and the BBC reports critics say the military is aiming to keep power even after a vote is held.

General Than Shwe warned other countries not to interfere with Myanmar's political process, and of "inappropriate" campaigning by opposition groups.

A BBC correspondent who was among foreign journalists invited, unusually, to the parade said the event was a clear message of the strength the Burmese military has, and is not prepared to give up.