A new day in Myanmar? Or more of the same? - Macleans.ca

A new day in Myanmar? Or more of the same?

Sunday’s elections could go either way


Critics have dismissed Myanmar’s first elections in 20 years as fraudulent, and only a means to cement the country’s military dictatorship. The ruling generals say the vote shows Myanmar—also known as Burma—is a “discipline-flourishing democracy.” But this is a country where political gatherings require a week’s notice and hundreds of opposition candidates have been imprisoned. While most candidates struggle to raise the $500 needed to register for the elections, the junta’s proxy party has readily available financial resources, and the tacit support of the state media. It also has the backing of generals who have repeatedly proven willing to do whatever is needed, and the constitution sets aside 25 percent of parliamentary seats for military appointees. Still, after more than 50 years of harsh military rule, an election to some may will mark a new era in Myanmar, and a sign of progress in the country.

Washington Post

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