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Week 4: 2010 Elections Watch (30 March-5 April)

By Altsean-Burma  •  April 7, 2010

Developments

  • Two members of the SPDC Election Commission are on the EU blacklist: 1) Deputy Supreme Court Judge Thein Soe, who serves as the Elections Commission Chairman; and 2) Supreme Court Judge Tin Aung Aye. On 31 March, the Election Commission held its fourth meeting in Naypyidaw.  State-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported on the meeting but did not disclose details on what the Commission discussed.
  • After submitting articles on the NLD’s decision not to register as a political party to the SPDC Censorship Board for verification, journals Myanmar Newsweek and Yangon Times were forced to report that the NLD’s decision will disrupt the election. The Myanmar Newsweek wrote: “The NLD’s decision not to participate in the planned election damages the peaceful transition to democracy for the country and its citizens.”
  • The Mon Working Committee, a political alliance of various groups representing Burma’s Mon community, voted to boycott the election because of the unfair SPDC election laws.
  • Pa-O National Organization, Kayin People’s Party, Democratic Party, and pro-junta National Political Alliance filed registration papers to participate in the upcoming elections. As of 5 April, only seven political parties have registered with the SPDC Election Commission.

For more developments click here

Reactions

  • Thai FM Kasit Piromya said he was “concerned” about the national reconciliation and the inclusiveness of the electoral process in Burma. “[The SPDC electoral laws] look discriminatory [because] you are providing amnesty only to the military leadership and not to the rest of the political opposition side of it,” said Kasit.
  • Indonesian FM Marty Natalegawa said that Indonesia expected the regime to “uphold its commitment to have an election that allows all parties to take part.”
  • Shan State Army – South spokesperson Sai Lao Hseng said that if the 1990 election winning parties don’t participate in the upcoming election there won’t be an inclusive election.
  • US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southeast Asia and Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs Scot Marciel said, “Burma’s new election laws are a step backwards. They are effectively preventing the main opposition party from participating. This is the opposite of the path towards national reconciliation.”
  • Japan’s Ambassador to the UN Yukio Takasu said, “We were hoping the general election would be inclusive, meaning that people are entitled to participate. […] But with this legal impediment [the SPDC election laws], it cannot be considered inclusive.”
  • The Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC-Union of Burma), a coalition of ethnic political organizations, announced that the council would not accept the SPDC election laws as they were patently one-sided laws drawn by the military junta for itself.

For more reactions click here

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This post is in: 2010 Elections

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