Chilean opposition parties have rejected the military government's first offer of talks on the transition to democracy because the left was to be excluded.

Opposition leader Patricio Aylwin said the demand to bar the left from the January 3 talks was a ploy to ensure that the meeting failed."It is just a pretext, making clear that what we face is merely a demagogic campaign about dialogue on the part of the government," Aylwin, president of the centrist Christian Democratic party and one of three leaders invited to the talks, told a news conference.

Interior Minister Carlos Caceres had issued the invitation Monday night to a Jan. 3 meeting, the first approach to the opposition after military ruler Gen. Augusto Pinochet's defeat in October's presidential plebiscite.