Myanmar told ASEAN wants fair, inclusive polls: Vietnam

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Myanmar has been told that ASEAN wants controversial elections scheduled for this year to be fair, inclusive and democratic, Vietnam said Friday after hosting the group's summit.

"We hope to see Myanmar implementing effectively the roadmap for peace... and that the elections should be fair, democratic, with the participation of all parties," Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said.

"This will help... stabilize the country and focus resources on development," he said, adding that as the current chair of the 10-nation bloc he had "forwarded ASEAN's message" during a visit to Myanmar last week.

Myanmar's elections will be the first in the country for two decades.

"I think they realize that the whole world is watching them," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on the opening day of the summit Thursday.

"But for them to decide to take the path or the roadmap towards democracy is a gargantuan step, and we're glad that they've taken that, so we must encourage them along the way," he told reporters.

"The important thing is for the process itself to be a very sound process, a credible process, and to be free and fair so that it will enhance Myanmar and ASEAN, particularly with the world community," Najib said.

"I think they understand what is expected of them," he said, but added that regional states would not "pre-judge" Myanmar by assuming the polls will fall short of expectations.

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