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Myanmar bans foreign media from election coverage

"We don't need foreign observers. We have abundant experience in holding elections," says Election C

Myanmar will not allow foreign media and journalists to cover the country's first election in two decades, it was announced on Monday.

Election Commission chairman Thein Soe said that the Commission would release press statements "in a timely manner" for representatives of international news agencies resident in the country.

Twenty-five officially registered 'foreign correspondents' working for 17 foreign news outlets are said to be residing in Myanmar.

It is understood that Myanmar has also turned down offers from its neighbouring countries including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to observe the elections.

The Election Commission said that the Myanmar-based diplomats could monitor the polls.

The BBC quoted Thein Soe as saying that "We don't need foreign observers. We have abundant experience in holding elections."

"Besides, the election laws enacted are very balanced and easy to understand," he added.

Although critics are viewing the 7 November elections as a sham aimed at consolidating military rule, the military junta has billed the election as a key step towards democracy.