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Parliament opens in Myanmar after 20 year lapse


Published on Feb 4, 2011

(CNN) -- Myanmar convened its first parliament in more than two decades on Monday in the capital, Naypyidaw.

Members are expected to vote for chairman and vice chairman during the session.

November's elections, which were also the first in 20 years, drew fire from critics, who said the voting was aimed at creating a facade of democracy.

The regime refused to allow international monitors to oversee the elections and would not allow international journalists to cover the voting from inside the country. Journalists who reported from inside Myanmar had to do so surreptitiously.

The military junta also recently overhauled Myanmar's constitution in a way that critics say was aimed at tightening the regime's grip. The constitution now requires more than 100 military nominees in parliament.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962.

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