Elections


Beijing’s recent courting of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was deliberate and well-calculated. At a time when the political maneuvering in Myanmar is heating up ahead of elections later this year, “The Lady” flew to Beijing in June to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People.
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Burmese President Thein Sein vowed on Thursday to “try” to carry out free and fair elections, which will be held later this year.
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The Union Election Commission (UEC) on Wednesday instructed political parties to submit lists of parliamentary candidates for the general election no later than 8 August.
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Proposed amendments to the 2008 constitution are now up for debate in parliament. After voting on the first six proposed changes on June 25, parliament has continued to discuss a broader range of amendments contained in a second bill. The debate concluded yesterday, after 63 MPs discussed the bill.
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The Swiss government is among a number of European donors supporting development and human rights in Burma, particularly in the conflict-affected southeastern region. Since opening an Embassy in the former capital Rangoon in 2012, Switzerland has primarily focused its assistance on support for Burma’s peace process and upcoming general election. Switzerland is also the current chair of the Peace Donor Support Group, an aid coordination network formed by foreign governments and NGOs.
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Political parties representing Myanmar’s ethnic minorities could pick up a sizeable number of seats at general elections later this year, Reuters reported on 7 July.
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Highly anticipated parliamentary elections considered a key test of Myanmar’s reforms will take place on November 8, according to an official announcement of the date made yesterday by the Union Election Commission (UEC).
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The Myanmar Police Force (MPF) is seeking to recruit more than 20,000 special police officers to bolster security at polling stations nationwide during the forthcoming general election scheduled for Nov. 8.
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Political parties representing Burma’s ethnic minorities could pick up a sizeable number of seats in a general election later this year, presenting a stumbling block for the ambitions of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her party.
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An ethnic Kayin party has set its sights on winning control of Kayin State at November’s elections. The Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party (PSDP) said it had drawn up lists of candidates for nearly every constituency in the state, and hopes to secure a majority in the state hluttaw.
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Myanmar’s interim press council may soon be able to drop the provisional epithet and evolve into a permanent organisation, a member of a newly created election commission said yesterday.
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In a sign of increasing unease among the political parties concerning the integrity of provisional electoral rolls, National League for Democracy representatives met yesterday with officials of the Union Election Commission (UEC) to raise a number of concerns.
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The local election subcommission in Pegu Division’s Tharrawaddy Township has sought and received funding from lawmakers of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), a donation that an opposition party member has criticized as potentially compromising the electoral body’s impartiality.
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In Tokyo over the weekend for a Mekong region development summit, U Thein Sein gave an interview to NHK World that was duly picked up in Myanmar’s official media.
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A new property rule has been set for the National League for Democracy representatives to ensure the transparency as the party gears up for what party chairperson Daw Aung San Suu Kyi hopes will be a landslide election win.
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Many wondered whether Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would comment on sensitive human rights issues under the noses of her Communist hosts. The long-term imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo, a fellow Nobel laureate, had some speculating that Myanmar’s icon of democracy would wade into China’s difficult domestic politics.
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Myanmar’s speaker of parliament said on Wednesday that a nationwide referendum would be held during the general elections later this year on a constitutional amendment that lawmakers passed last week regarding the wording of the requirements for top political office holders.
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As opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi makes her way across Myanmar, campaigning for her party ahead of this fall’s national election, she is noticeably skipping at least one state: Rakhine, home to the Rohingya Muslims at the center of Southeast Asia’s refugee crisis.
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Can Myanmar have true democracy without genuine peace? Widespread armed conflict, including intensified civil wars in the northern Kachin and eastern Shan States, will challenge the state appointed election commission to organize polls across vast areas of the country if and when constitutionally mandated elections are held in November. An incomplete and fraying peace process will jeopardize electoral security, maximum voter participation and the democratic legitimacy of the results.
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Democracy advocates have long looked to 2015 as a chance for the Burmese people to elect their leaders in a credible vote for the first time in 25 years. On Wednesday, Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann said the historic nature of the election, expected in early November, would have the added momentousness of being held concurrently with a national referendum on constitutional reform.
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