Myanmar Polls Cannot Be 'Credible': US

"The United States said Friday that Myanmar's planned November 7 elections cannot be ""inclusive or credible"" under the political circumstances there. ""Given the oppressive political environment in Burma, there is not a level playing field for these elections,"" State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told AFP, using the previous name for Myanmar. ""They cannot be inclusive or credible under these circumstances."" Myanmar's junta announced Friday it will hold its first election in two decades on November 7 -- a vote critics say is a sham aimed at entrenching the ruling generals' half-century grip on power. Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent much of the past 20 years in detention and is seen as the biggest threat to the junta, is barred from standing in the polls because she is a serving prisoner. The election date, announced by state media, falls about a week before Suu Kyi's current term of house arrest is due to expire on November 13. Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won a landslide victory in 1990 but was never allowed to take office. It is boycotting the upcoming vote, saying the rules are unfair. The Obama administration last year launched a dialogue with Myanmar, concluding that isolating the regime had not worked. But it has said it will only lift sanctions in return for progress on democracy and other concerns."