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Election Watch Bulletin #1

By The Burma Fund - UN Office  •  February 1, 2010

It is almost likely that general elections will take place in fall 2010 in Burma. Many political parties, including NLD, Democratic Party, USDA and ethnic organizations, are looking forward to seeing the electoral law, which will set up the criteria for submitting the candidatures. Democratic leaders have publicly expressed positions closed to the NLD Shwegondaing Declaration, which calls for a revision of the constitution under the principles of human rights and fundamental freedom. NLD and the other parties are concerned in particular at the rigid constitutional amendment clauses.

SPDC plan of transforming the ceasefire groups into border guards is entirely pending. As of now, no faction agreed to the conditions set by the junta. Lt.Gen. Ye Myint, Chief of the military intelligence, has started a new round of negotiations. Some of the most relevant ethnic armies, including Wa and Shan State Army South, have started new recruitment campaigns among the civilians and are preparing in case of attack by SPDC. China has warned Burma not to create instability on the common border, which could have negative effects on the security and the economy in the Yunnan region.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell has recently declared that engagement policy could be more effective if other actors would be involved. Ian Kelly, State Department spokesperson, expressed in a note published on January 4th 2010 that no credible steps have been achieved to lead to credible elections. The U.S. continue to urge the regime to engage with the opposition. The Japan offered economic aid in change of democratic reforms. The EU is also looking at a way of engaging the regime. If these attempts to deal with SPDC would be coordinated, the efforts may contribute to ease the restrictions and the abuses and to craft more space for the political parties inside the country.

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This post is in: 2010 Elections

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