Today’s post comes from Partners Relief & Development, our local partner in Myanmar. This weekend, elections in Myanmar will be held, an important event in the country’s journey towards democracy. Both the process of elections and the results will certainly have a huge impact on all Burmese people, and the Rohingya in particular.
“In less than a week Myanmar will hold what some are calling the freest elections in the last three decades. While many are hopeful of the kind of changes the elections might bring, others remain skeptical. 664 seats in the legislature will be up for grabs and most believe that the NLD (National League for Democracy), the party former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi helped form in 1988, will win the vast majority of available seats (the Myanmar Constitution requires that 25% of all legislative seats be occupied political parties loyal to the military).
There have been disquieting rumblings, however, in the run-up to the elections. Many are complaining of the Union Election Commissions? error-strewn voter lists, bias in favor of military-backed party candidates, disenfranchisement of entire ethnic populations (re: Rohingya), and other voter restrictions in many parts of the country. Outside observers from both the US and EU have been granted permission to deploy in various parts of the country, though it remains to be seen what kind of access they will be actually be given. For a helpful overview of the upcoming elections visit here.”
To read this blog post on Partners’ website, click here.