Democracy test for Myanmar, as elections set for November 8
The country has been ruled by the military for decades. A victory for Aung San Suu Kyi and her League for Democracy is expected, but not the triumph of 2015. The Lady has lost the approval of ethnic minorities and is criticized by the international community for the army's violence against the Rohingya.
Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - General and state elections will be held in Myanmar on November 8th, the Electoral Commission announced it yesterday in a message broadcast by public television. The vote is considered by many to be a test for the country's full democratic transition after decades of military rul.
Voting will take place in all states of the country, including conflict zones. 330 seats in the lower house and 168 in the upper house of the national parliament are up for grabs. 25% are reserved for the military, which are still the dominant power. Another 644 seats (plus 29 for ethnic minorities) will be at stake for state assemblies.
Analysts predict another victory for the National League for Democracy of Aung San Suu Kyi, but not the landslide victory of 2015, when in the first multi-party elections after over 50 years of military dictatorship took place.
The struggling economy is affecting the drop in consensus. Suu Kyi enjoys strong support among the population of Bamar origin, which is the majority in the country, but is harshly criticized by ethnic minorities, who accuse her of having done little to stop military violence.
The State Councilor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, is also criticized by the international community for her management of the crisis in Rakhine, the scene of clashes between the army and local armed militias. The operations of the Armed Forces, considered by the UN to be an act of genocide, caused nearly one million Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.