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Myanmar Parliament Picks Junta's PM As New President

Myanmar's parliament has named the prime minister of the outgoing military government as the country's new president.

The appointment of former General Thein Sein is the latest step in Myanmar's self-declared transition to democracy after 50 years of military rule.

Critics have denounced the process as a sham aimed at cementing the power of the military junta led by Than Shwe.

The military and their civilian allies hold an 80 percent majority in parliament, which was elected in a November vote widely dismissed internationally as rigged.

The country's biggest pro-democracy opposition party, the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi, was dissolved ahead of the elections and is not represented in the legislature.

compiled from agency reports