Sunday, November 8, 2015

Burma awaits results of election

Here is a good article from the CBC on Burma's recently held election.


With tremendous excitement and hope, millions of citizens voted Sunday in Burma's historic general election that will test whether the military's long-standing grip on power can be loosened, with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party expected to secure an easy victory.
Even if the NLD wins, the military is guaranteed key ministerial posts — defence, interior and border security. It is not under the government's control and could continue attacks against ethnic groups. But critics are most concerned about the military's constitutional right to retake direct control of government, as well as its direct and indirect control over the country's economy.
Richard Horsey, a Myanmar analyst, said that given the powers it has, the military will not be too perturbed about allowing a transfer of power to the NLD if it wins. "It's very difficult to imagine that anyone will be running the country without having the support of the military."
There are concerns also about the vote's credibility, because for the first time about 500,000 eligible voters from the country's 1.3 million-strong Rohingya Muslim minority have been barred from casting ballots. The government considers them foreigners even though many have lived in Burma for generations. Neither the NLD nor the USDP is fielding a single Muslim candidate.
Abdul Melik, a 29-year-old Rohingya, spent election day watching other people vote. He stared out from a camp on the outskirts of western Rakhine state's capital, Sittwe, where the Rohingya are forced to live in squalid camps and can't leave without official approval.
"I can see the Buddhist Rakhine, the Kaman Muslim and Hindus voting at a polling station close to the barricades," he said in a telephone conversation. "We were hoping that somehow we'd be allowed to vote. But today I have lost hope of any change in my lifetime."
"This is the day that hope ends," he added.

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