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Elections in Burma designed to legitimise military rule: Australia

By Burma Campaign Australia  •  October 21, 2010

Burma Campaign Australia congratulates Australia for saying the elections in Burma are designed to legitimise military rule in Burma.

During recent Senate Estimates in Australia the First Assistant Secretary South-East Asia Division of DFAT* Hugh Borrowman answered questions about Australia’s position on the upcoming elections.

The Australian “government’s view is that the environment for the elections in Burma is very unpropitious. The constitution is crook. The system is clearly designed to legitimise military rule,” Mr Borrowman said.

Burma Campaign Australia spokesperson Zetty Brake welcomed the statement from DFAT.

“Burma Campaign Australia is pleased that Australia has made these statements, particularly that Australia is on the record as saying these election are designed to legitimise military rule in Burma,” Ms Brake said.

The elections, to be held in 17 days on November 7, are the first in the country in 20 years and have been widely criticised.

Ms Brake said an election in Burma has very different meaning, to an election here in Australia.

“Australia did not know who won the federal election this year until 17 days after the vote.  The situation in Burma is different.  The fact is 17 days before the election, we already know the outcome – that is not democracy,” Ms Brake said.

“Australians would never accept this as democracy, and neither should the people of Burma.  Whilst we welcome the recent statement, Burma Campaign Australia continues to call on the Australian Government to publicly state that the elections in Burma will not be credible or legitimate.”

For more information please contact Zetty Brake on 0416289235

*DFAT – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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This post is in: Press Release

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