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Week 1: 2010 Election Watch (9-15 March)

By Altsean-Burma  •  March 17, 2010

Developments

  • The SPDC enacted five election laws. The SPDC Election Commission Law stated that the junta would handpick the new Election Commission (EC). The junta appointed a 17-member EC. The majority of the members are retired civil servants who served under the junta.  The EC chairman Thein Soe is a former Major General who served as a military judge.
  • The SPDC Political Parties Registration Law excludes from forming or joining a political party: a) anyone convicted by a court and serving a jail term (e.g.: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi); b) anyone who has an association with “outlawed organizations”; c) Buddhist monks and members of other religious orders.
  • According to the SPDC Political Parties Registration Law, the NLD and other currently legal parties will automatically cease to exist as legal entities if they fail to apply for registration as a party by 7 May.
  • The SPDC allowed the NLD to reopen regional party offices that have been closed since May 2003. An estimated 300 NLD offices across Burma reopened. However, SPDC authorities prevented some NLD office from reopening in Mandalay Division and Arakan State. Unknown individuals demolished an NLD office in Akyab, Arakan State.
  • The SPDC Censorship Board barred weekly publications in Burma from publishing any comment or analysis of the election laws.

For more developments click here

Reactions

  • NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said that the NLD was “not at all happy and not satisfied” with the SPDC election laws. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called the laws “unjust.”
  • UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana said that “under these current conditions, the elections could not be considered “credible.”
  • Philippines Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo said that unless the SPDC allowed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD to participate in the elections, the polls would be “a complete farce.”
  • US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said that the SPDC Political Parties Registration Law made “a mockery of the democratic process” and ensured the elections “will be devoid of credibility.”
  • The UK government regretted that the SPDC election laws were “not based on genuine and inclusive dialogue between the regime, opposition, and ethnic groups.”

For more reactions click here

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This post is in: 2010 Elections

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