Assistant Secretary of State, Kurt Campbell met with Daw Aung San Su Kyi, the NLD leader and the military government, to discuss the upcoming 2010 elections in the country, the first in 20 years. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 14 out of the 20 years; her party, the NLD boycotted the elections due to the rules and laws affiliated with campaigning for the elections.
Critics say that the elections is a sham- to keep the military in power, however, others say that the elections may be a step toward change. Although Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD refused to contest; some members of the NLD, created a new party called the National Democratic Force, NDF, to campaign in the elections.
NDF member, Khin Maung Swe, told Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell that the elections although flawed, may be the best chance for democratic reform in Burma.
Khin Maung Swe: “ If we do not contest in the election…there is no democratic force in the parliament as the opposition forces. So , at that time they can do anything they like. So, that we choose the way to contested in the election. There is the only chance for us to make a way toward the democratic transition. But, not in a day.”
Although the NLD won the 1990 elections in Burma, they were not recognized for it. The military disqualified the 1990 elections and arrested hundreds of people.