– Kaye Lin
The Burmese government announced today on Friday, August13th, that the Burmese elections are set for November 7th. This will be the first elections in the country within 20 years. Critics of the Burmese government say that the elections will be a sham – entrenched to put the ruling government, who has ruled Burma for over half a century, in power once more.
The United States said that the elections in Burma cannot be ” credible” as there is such political turmoil in the country. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition group, the National League of Democracy, was not given the freedom to run in this year’s elections. She was barred from the elections because she is under house arrest- serving as a prisoner for more than 14 out of the 20 years. It is reported that Suu Kyi will be out of house arrest on Nov. 13th.
In 1990, Suu Kyi’s party, the NLD won the elections – with over 80% of the votes. However, the military government refused to acknowledge the votes, and the NLD was never in office.
This time, the NLD boycotted the elections stating that it would be a sham anyway. However, the National Democratic Force, a new party founded by former NLD members recently registered for the upcoming elections. The NLD has stated their complaints of the NDF.
What do you think about the upcoming 2010 elections? Would it be free and fair? Do you think that the NLD should have ran without Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s approval? What do you think about the NDF running?