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BURMA’S 2010 ELECTIONS: THE STORY SO FAR

 
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This briefer shows that despite the SPDC’s repeated pledges for “free and fair” elections, indicators for election monitoring based on EU, UN, and OSCE guidelines point to the contrary. The SPDC election laws and conduct of the SPDC Election Commission have caused the dissolution of parties that won 84% of seats in the last election, and disenfranchised at least 1.5 million voters.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

• The SPDC election laws are not in accordance with international standards and prevent the exercise of fundamental freedoms and political rights.
• Election laws bar over 2,000 political prisoners from being members of political parties. The NLD and other parties would have had to expel their imprisoned leaders, such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to be eligible to participate.

ELECTION ADMINISTRATION

• The SPDC Election Commission has not acted in an independent, impartial, and transparent manner.
• A number of political parties and candidates have been barred by the Election Commission’s discriminatory restrictions.
• The Election Commission financial requirements and tight deadlines for candidate registration hindered the political parties’ ability to field candidates.
• The Election Commission has canceled the polls in more than 3,400 villages in ethnic areas, disenfranchising around 1.5 million voters.

ELECTION CAMPAIGN

• The SPDC has limited the ability of political parties, candidates, and their supporters to campaign. Regime authorities have detained those who have spoken out against the polls.
• Regime officials have harassed, intimidated, and coerced party candidates and their supporters and engaged in vote buying schemes.
• The junta-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has liberally used state resources and relied on state institutions, civil servants, and SPDC officials for the party’s campaign activities.

MEDIA

• The SPDC Censorship Board has unjustifiably limited the ability of independent media to report on election issues and developments.
• State-owned media has tightly restricted media access of candidates and political parties.
• State-run media have failed to provide sufficient information to enable voters to make an informed voting decision.