Ahead of Burma’s Election later this month, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Burma released the following statement, raising their concerns about the credibility of the elections.
Statement by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Burma: Growing Concerns Regarding the Credibility of Burma’s Election
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Democracy in Burma is deeply concerned about the growing number of undemocratic practices in the run up to Burma’s general election being held on 8 November.
Under Burma’s 2008 Constitution, it is impossible for the election to be truly free and fair. Twenty-five percent of seats in Parliament are chosen by the head of the military rather than by voters at the election.
We are concerned that the actions of the civilian government and associated bodies such as the Union Election Commission are further undermining democratic rights and the credibility of the elections through their actions of:
- The continued disenfranchisement of the Rohingya people
- The cancellation of elections in areas of ethnic states affected by the ongoing conflict, which has been decided in an arbitrary way, with those that are strongholds of opposition parties being cancelled
- Restraints on freedom of expression and limits on access to information
- Jailing of political activists
- State censorship
Members of the APPG for Democracy in Burma recognises the challenges and legacy of problems the government of Burma faces in the holding the general elections. However, many of the factors undermining the credibility of the are deliberate decisions by the government. These decisions are not compatible with the holding of free and fair elections.
We call on the British government to take direct action and stand up for the democratic rights of the people of Burma.