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Week 24: 2010 Election Watch (17-23 August)

August 24, 2010

Developments

  • The SPDC Election Commission published Notification 91/2010 which requires candidates to seek approval for public speeches seven days in advance.. In addition, candidates cannot give speeches or distribute materials that criticize the constitution, “tarnish” the image of the state or the military, or “harm security. As with earlier regulations on campaign activities, chanting slogans, marching or carrying flags are prohibited as part of candidate rallies.
  • The NLD officially announced that it would boycott the elections because the 2008 constitution and the SPDC election laws do not guarantee democracy and human rights in Burma.
  • The Rakhine Nationals Progressive Party submitted formal complaints to the SPDC Election Commission and the Arakan State Election Sub-commission concerning SPDC police harassment of relatives of party leaders and the surveillance of party offices since early August.
  • The SPDC Censorship Board prevented news outlets from reporting on party leaders who criticized the SPDC Election Commission’s decision to hold the election on 7 November.
  • The SPDC Election Commission approved the registration of the Kayin State Democracy and Development Party. To date, the Election Commission has approved the registration of 41 parties out of the 47 that applied to contest the polls.

For more developments click here

Reactions

  • Democratic Party (Myanmar) Chairman Thu Wai said that the short deadline for candidate registration had “greatly reduced” the party’s ability to field candidates. Thu Wai also said that “by creating obstacles to other political parties before the election” the SPDC will not have to cheat or rig votes on Election Day because “the [Union Solidarity and Development Party] is getting the upper hand.”
  • Rakhine Nationals Progressive Party Secretary Khine Pyi Soe said: “My relatives warned me not to do politics because they felt afraid […] It’s a serious threat to people to be party members and support the party.”
  • NLD Vice-Chairman Tin Oo said that the Burmese people “have the right not to vote in the upcoming elections.”
  • Japanese FM Katsuya Okada said that if the SPDC “holds the general election without releasing political prisoners, including Ms. Suu Kyi, it would not be a free, fair and open election that the international community has called for and thus would be regrettable.”

For more reactions click here

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This post is in: 2010 Elections

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