Making his first policy speech after taking over as the premier earlier this week, Nyunt said the talks on a new constitution leading to free and fair elections would be restarted.

Witnesses however said the new prime minister, a powerful general who is also head of military intelligence, set no firm time-table for the talks.

But a senior junta official said the talks could resume "as soon as possible".


The prime minister said a national convention on producing a new constitution would resume with the same participants as before it was suspended in 1996 following a walkout by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD).

He also said that once a constitution was agreed upon, it would be put to a national referendum.

A 'yes' vote would lead to free and fair elections on the basis on the constitution, the premier was quoted as saying.

There was no immediate comment from the NLD, many of whose leaders are in detention.

A Noble peace prize winner and Myanmar's best known democracy campaigner, Suu Kyi has herself been in detention in a secret location since 30 May.

Suu Kyi had led her party to a landslide victory in the 1990 elections, results of which were over-ruled by the military junta.

The army has ruled Myanmar with an iron hand since 1962.