Burma launches electoral adventure with Muslim politicians excluded

For a people who languished in isolation from the world during a half century of military rule, the Burmese election campaign that kicked off on Tuesday marks the launch of an unprecedented experiment in ballot box democracy.

But even as billboards were unveiled, brochures distributed and the first campaign speeches delivered, for one significant proportion of the population the experience is proving hollow.

For among some 6,200 candidates running for office for 92 parties, it seems certain that there will be not a single candidate from the Muslim population, the second largest religious grouping in the predominantly Buddhist country.