Thu 1 Apr 2010
Filed under: Inside Burma
Yangon – Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Thursday he told Myanmar Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein that “inclusivity, openness and transparency are important” in the process of holding elections.Speaking to reporters in Yangon after their meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s administrative capital, Natalegawa said he had shared Indonesia’s experience in making the transition to become the world’s third largest democracy, hoping it would be useful for Myanmar in its own democratization process.
He said Indonesia wants to see Myanmar hold an election that is “open, free, fair, credible and inclusive,” adding that those are the same things that the Myanmar government itself has said in the past that it wants.
“They have said it and we hope it will be the case,” he said.
Natalegawa’s remarks follow the recent announcement by Myanmar’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy led by detained pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, that it will boycott the upcoming general election, which is to be held later this year for the first time in two decades.
“We are not in a position to say this was a good decision or bad decision, only they know better so we are not going to second-guess it.”
But he said Indonesia hopes the election will be a problem-solving one in which everyone in the country who can contribute to Myanmar’s development, stability and prosperity can participate.
“We are very keen to ensure that the election is inclusive, is participatory, and that the implementation of the laws does not exclude anyone,” he said. “All we are hoping for is the open commitments by Myanmar.”
Myanmar’s military junta recently enacted election laws, one of which would require the NLD to prevent Suu Kyi from participating in the election, a move which sparked harsh criticisms both from inside the country and abroad.
Natalegawa, who arrived in Myanmar on Tuesday, also met with his Myanmar counterpart Nyan Win in Naypyitaw on Wednesday.