02 April, 2012

Myanmar minister says by-elections 'free and fair'

PHNOM PENH - Myanmar's foreign minister says the weekend by-elections contested by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in his Southeast Asian nation were "free and fair."

Wunna Maung Lwin's upbeat assessment of Sunday's vote was echoed by colleagues in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which will hold its annual summit in the Cambodian capital this week.

Wunna told reporters Monday in Phnom Penh: "It was free, fair and transparent elections."

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan says poll observers reported a high turnout of voters, adding the elections foster Myanmar's ongoing democratic reforms.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says the voting will further ensure Myanmar's recent reforms will be "irreversible." AP