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SPDC Election Laws Set the Stage for Sham Elections

By Altsean-Burma, International Federation for Human Rights  •  April 26, 2010

The Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN – Burma) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) have been long documenting serious human rights violations occurring in Burma/Myanmar under the current military rule, one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Both organizations are supporting Justice and Democracy in Burma and, together with major Burmese organizations, are raising awareness on the crucial challenges that the country is currently facing, in the course of the shameful “road-map to democracy” that the regime has established in order to guarantee its continuous ruling under the facade of a civil government. The following paper gives a concrete update since the last report ALTSEAN published on the electoral process in Burma. It also explains how the regime is preparing itself for the day after the elections which are organized with only one aim: to ensure that the country will remain still hostage of the military for many more years to come.

Highlights

  • The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) issues five repressive election laws that will ensure that the polls held in Burma later this year will be neither free nor fair.
  • Some of the repressive provisions include:
    – Giving the Election Commission the authority to deny or delay elections in ethnic nationality areas for “security reasons”.
    – Excluding those who convicted of a crime and serving a jail term from being a member of a political party.
    – Forbidding those associated with armed opposition groups – and potentially including those associated with ceasefire groups that reject the SPDC’s Border Guard Force (BGR) ultimatum – from taking part in the elections.
  • The SPDC continues to place severe restrictions on freedom and expression and assembly.
  • In response to the unfair and undemocratic election laws, the National League for Democracy (NLD) announces that it will boycott the SPDC’s elections.
  • In the meantime, the SPDC prepares to transfer its authority to junta-backed political parties and sell state assets to its loyal cronies.
  • On the border, ethnic tensions escalate as ceasefire groups refuse to accept the SPDC’s ultimatum that their militaries become BGFs.
  • In early 2010, SPDC military offensives in Eastern Burma displace more than 4,100 villagers.
  • UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma recommends the UN consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the SPDC.
  • Regardless of how the elections are conducted, the SPDC’s constitution will perpetuate military rule, because it stipulates that:
    – The military occupies 25% of the seats in Parliament and controls 3 key Ministries;
    – The military has effective veto power over constitutional amendments;
    – The National Defense and Security Council further entrenches the military;
    – Basic human rights are still threatened.

Download the full paper.

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This post is in: 2010 Elections

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