Burma's sham election - Macleans.ca

Burma’s sham election

Observers claim evidence of vote-rigging and bribery


For the first time in two decades, the people of Myanmar went to the polls on Sunday. Though officials have not released the final results, most regard the election as a sham meant to cement military rule, with complex election rules put in place to exclude opposition candidates as well as interference from the junta in the campaign and conduct of the elections. U.S. President Barack Obama said in a speech to India’s parliament in New Delhi that “It is unacceptable to steal elections, as the regime in Burma has done again for all the world to see.” Few journalists covered the elections from inside the country, and the government banned them from coming (though some news organizations snuck in reporters). Reports have been surfacing that at least 10,000 refugees fled across the border into Thailand to escape post-election fighting between government troops and ethnic Karen rebels. Observers noted poor voter turnout across the country, falling as low as 20 per cent in some areas.


The Guardian

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