Burma has announced plans to hold a national convention May 17th to draft a new constitution.
A statement from the military government Tuesday said invitations will be sent out very soon. It did not say who will be invited. This would be the first step in the so-called "road map to democracy" unveiled by Prime Minister Khin Nyunt last August. At the time, he promised that a new constitution would clear the way for an elected government.
Burma's last election was in 1990. The opposition National League for Democracy party won by a landslide, but the military refused to give up power. A few years later, the military organized a constitutional convention, but it ended in failure when the opposition refused to participate.
Since last May, authorities have detained Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. United Nations officials have urged that she be released and allowed to participate in the constitutional convention.
Informtaion for this report is provided by AP and AFP.