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The Burmese junta is preparing sham elections 20 years after last democratic elections

By People in Need  •  May 27, 2010

Prague, 27th May 2010: Today the Burmese society is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its last democratic elections which took place in 1990 and in which the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory. However the results of these elections were never recognized by the governing junta, the elected parliament never held a session and most of the winning party members and even elected MPs have been persecuted since that time and many of them even imprisoned including Suu Kyi. Twenty years after these elections a new one is being prepared: it is thoroughly prepared by the junta supposedly under democratic rules but according to many international organizations and observers these are sham elections which aim to legitimize and maintain the governing junta in power.

The organization People in Need would like to commemorate this annivesary and express its opinion towards this year’s elections which will not be democratic and will not follow the international human rights standards. The Burmese legal framework – new constitution released by the junta in 2008 and new election laws released in March 2010 – discriminate Burmese citizens and the political representatives. These laws do not allow the candidacy of those who are imprisoned or persecuted  which is a tool against Suu Kyi and other imprisoned opposition members; they do not allow the candidacy of any members of groups regarded as “dangerous” which is aimed at forbiding the candidacy of any dissident or human rights activist. They also do not allow the candidacy of buddhist monks or any other religious representatives.

People in Need would like to join this international campaign against these elections which cannot be democratic and internationally recognized unless the the regime first does the following:

  1. Release of all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi;
  2. Cease hostilities against ethnic and democracy groups; and,
  3. Engage in inclusive dialogue with key stakeholders from democracy groups and ethnic nationalities, including a review of the 2008 Constitution.

National League for Democracy released a statement on March 29th, 2010 that it will not participate in these elections as a political party. The representatives of NLD announced that this decision was taken based on the election laws published by the governing junta which NLD sees as „unfair and illegal“. Aung San Suu Kyi supported this idea already on March 23rd, when she said that she would not register NLD as a political party because of the illegal election laws. The decision of the NLD to boycott the elections is an important message to the people of Burma and to the international community. The upcoming elections will be a sham with the aim to legitimize and maintain the governing junta in power.

People in Need is joining this campaign against the planned elections which are according to internation standards non-democratic and illegal. During 2010 PIN will prepare an information campaign in the Czech republic and other central and Eastern European countries related to these elections. The first public event related to this campaign will the celebration of 65th anniversary of Aung Schan Suu Kyi, the leading Burmese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate which will be held in Prague on June 18. More information about this activity will be available on the website of People in Need. To see more details about other activities around the world as part of this campaign please visit the following website: http://burmapartnership.org/2010elections/2010/05/global-actions-to-denounce-burmas-2010-military-elections/

For detailed information please contact Kristina Prunerova, the coordinator of the Burmese projects of PIN.  kristina.prunerova@clovekvtisni.cz. Cell: 420 777 787 917

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