Myanmar to hold first election in 25 years in November

Myanmar to hold general election on Nov. 8, poll officials say

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC) said on Wednesday that the country will go to the polls on November 8 for its first general election for 25 years.

During an interview with the BBC, Director General of the Union Election Commission, Tin Tun confirmed the date, adding that the election may be held in October or November.

The official date will be announced formally on Wednesday evening by the commision, according to Tin Tun.

It is expected that more than 70 political parties, including the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi, will take place in the election .

Although Aung San Suu Kyi has previously said that her party may boycott the election due to absence of any hope of a fair election. Win Htein, a member of the central executive committee of the NLD, said that the party is preparing for the historic election by creating a manifesto and selecting its candidates  

“She had to say that, because we had concerns that it would not be free and fair,” Htein said.

“But we are a big party, and we are prepared to participate and win the elections,” he added.

The strongest rival of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) may be the NLD party, though Aung San Suu Kyi is not able to run for president, according to the law in Myanmar.

The NLD party led by Suu Kyi won Myanmar’s last "free and fair” election in 1990 but the result of the election wasn’t accepted by the members of the country’s military junta on the pretext that Suu Kyi wasn't able to become president due her two children being British citizens.

Last month a constitutional reform package allowing people who have foreign children to run in the elections was rejected by the military-dominated parliament.

Based on the country’s current constitution, Myanmar’s military has 25 permanent seats in parliament which gives it the power to block any constitutional changes.

Preparations are continuing in the country to ensure the upcoming election is fair. A great number of election observes from local and international platforms have been invited to train officials and observe the election process, and the country’s election commision has also compiled a voter list.

TRTWorld and agencies