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Myanmar new constitution ratified
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15:44, May 15, 2008

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Myanmar's new constitution has been ratified according to the result released by the Commission for Holding Nationwide Referendum, the state television reported Thursday.

A total of 20,786,596, or 92.4 percent of voters, who cast vote in an initial nationwide referendum held across Myanmar on May 10,voted in favor of the new constitution draft, an announcement of the commission was quoted as reporting.

Of the 22,708,434 eligible voters in 278 townships out of 325 in the whole country, 22,496,660 or 99.07 percent turned out to cast vote in the referendum.

The number of voters who voted against the constitution was 1,375,480, while canceled votes went to 334,584.

According to the draft constitution, the constitution draft can be ratified with the majority votes-in-favor out of the votes cast by over 50 percent of eligible voters.

Of the 278 townships covered in the initial phase of the referendum, five remote townships in Yangon division and 19 townships in the Ayeyawaddy division were included.

The remaining 40 townships in Yangon division and 7 townships in the Ayeyawaddy division remained put off to May 24 with ballot casting for the areas are under declared cyclone-hit-region status.

There is a total population of 57,504,368 in the whole of Myanmar with up-to-age population or eligible voters accounting for 27,369,957, according to official figures.

Of the country's population, Yangon represents 7 million, while Ayeyawaddy 6 million.

The 194-page 15-chapter 2008 Republic of Union of Myanmar Constitution was drafted by a 54-member State Constitution Drafting Commission in accordance with the detailed basic principles laid down by the National Convention.

The referendum on the new constitution draft constitutes part of the military government's seven-step roadmap announced in 2003.The next step is to hold a multi-party democracy general election in 2010 to produce parliament representatives to hand over power to a democratically elected civil government.


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