2010 Elections

This page is now archived and will be kept indefinitely for research purposes. Only materials strictly relevant to the November 2010 Elections will be added.
 
            

Election Issues 

Official Announcement of the Election Results
New Light of Myanmar - 8 December 2010
The results indicate a roughly 5% larger voter turn-out than in the 1990 election (77% compared with 72%), a 50% reduction in invalid votes (6% compared with 12%) and broadly comparable seats won by the election winners (79% USDP in 2010 against 81% NLD in 1990).
 
'A changing ethnic landscape"
Burma Policy Briefing No. 4 - December 2010
An analysis of the 2010 elections by the Transnational Institute, with particular reference to the ethnic dimension. The report concludes: "The international community should support the range of actors in Burma in their efforts to promote political change, including political parties that participated in the elections and ceasefire groups. It should also develop policies that support efforts aimed at preventing a new phase in the 60-year insurgency, and that promote peace and equitable development."


Analysis of the outcome of the Myanmar elections
Social Sciences Research Council - 18 November 2010
Richard Horsey, an independent political analyst and former ILO liaison officer in Myanmar, analyses the results of the election, draws attention to serious concerns about advance voting, but concludes that "a dramatically new political landscape is taking shape, although it may take a while for some of the protagonists to recognize this."


Preliminary report on the elections
Myanmar-based Monitoring Group - 8 November 2010
Produced by an independent and politically neutral local association based in Myanmar. These preliminary findings are drawn from sources on the ground during the pre-election period and election day itself in 8 states and regions across the country. 803 volunteer observers were trained in international standards on observation methodologies. The analysis is based on reports from 175 observers who were able to report back their findings at short notice. The trainers used materials from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), Cambodian Committee for Free Elections (COMFREL), and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to inform checklists and formats that they designed and tailored to monitor the campaign and election day. Particular attention was paid to selecting politically neutral observers; in addition, all observers made a verbal agreement to adhere to a code of conduct committing themselves to  non-partisanship.

State Flag, Law, Seal, Anthem and Name introduced
The New Light of Myanmar
Changes envisaged in the 2008 Constitution were celebrated on 21 October 2010. A Reuters report dated 21 October 2010 is attached.

Basic Documentation
 
The elections scheduled for 2010 will be based on the 2008 Constitution promulgated on 29 May 2009. The Constitution will come into force on the day of the convening of the first session of the Union Parliament (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw). The Union Parliament consists of the  People's Assembly (Pyithu Hluttaw) and the Nationalities Assembly (Amyotha Hluttaw) sitting in joint session.
       
   

Burmese text - Union Election Commission Law № 1/2010 of 8 March 2010

Official English translation of Law № 1/2010

  

Burmese text - Political Parties Registration Law №. 2/2010 of 8 March 2010

Official English translation of Law № 2/2010
Burmese text - Amendment dated 4 November 2011
Unofficial translation of Amendment dated 4 November 2011 

Burmese text  - Bylaws (Notification No. 1) dated 17 March 2010 to Law № 2/2010
   
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Burmese Text - Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law № 3/2010 of 8 March 2010

Official English translation of Law № 3/2010
Burmese text - Amendment dated 18 October 2011 

Burmese text - Bylaws (Notification № 2) dated 17 March 2010 to Law № 3/2010
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Burmese Text - Amyotha Hluttaw Election Law №. 4/2010 of 8 March 2010

Official English translation of Law № 4/2010
Burmese text - Amendment dated 18 October 2011 

Burmese text - Bylaws (Notification № 3) dated 17 March 2010 to Law №  4/2010

        

Burmese Text - Region/State Hluttaw Election Law №  5/2010 of 8 March 2010

Official English translation of Law No. 5/2010
Burmese text - Amendment dated 18 October 2011 

Burmese text - Bylaws (Notification №  dated 17 March 2010 to Law № 5/2010


Constituencies     

Notification № 85/2010 of the Union Election Commission - Pyithu Hluttaw (330)

Notification № 86/2010 of the Union Election Commission - Amyotha Hluttaw (168)

Notification № 87/2010 of the Union Election Commission - State/Region Hluttaws (636)

Notification № 88/2010 of the Union Election Commission - Minorities (29)

Notification № 89/2010 of the Union Election Commission - Holding of Elections
Notification № 90/2010 of the Union Election Commission - Submission of Candidates

Union Election Commission Notification No. 97/2010 of 14 September 2010

Lists the 10 political parties dissolved and the 37 political parties registered, with clarification.

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Union Election Commission Notification No. 98/2010 of 14 September 2010

Provides details about the arrangements for canvassing on radio and television.

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Union Election Commission issues Directive on Electoral Practices

Text of Directive 2/2010 of 22 June 2010 by the UEC about procedures to be followed by political parties in the recruitment of party members.
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Union Election Commission Announcement No. 18/2010 of 9 April 2010 
Reminds political parties that 6 May 2010 is the last date for submission of applications for continued existence in accordance with the Political Parties Registration Law.


Overseas Burmese websites with special election coverage         
                     
These six websites seek to provide a detailed and independent coverage of election issues. The materials are generally well balanced and far less partisan than might be supposed.

     

1. Mizzima     

2. The Irrawaddy   

3. Democratic Voice of Burma 

4. ALTSEAN-Burma   

5. Euro-Burma Office 

6. Burma Election 2010 


Background Materials 

Myanmar Elections Database      
Independent Analysts - October/November 2010
Comprehensive database including constituencies, political parties and candidates.


Q&A on Elections in Burma
Human Rights Watch - 3 November 2010
HRW present their own guide to the elections. In the absence of progress on human rights issues, they recommend imposing "increased targeted financial sanctions" without indicating how this might be done. HRW also invent a new category of persons who may not be members of political parties - those currently serving "detention orders" - Page 5. There is no such reference in the election laws. The reason for this invention would seem to be to include Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as a person supposedly subject to disqualification as a member of the National League for Democracy.


Myanmar: A Pre-Election Primer 
SSRC Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum - 18 October 2010
The latest guide by Richard Horsey to the election 

A brief political guide to the elections in Myanmar 
Burmese Perspectives - 2 October 2010

Burma's Election Landscape 
Burma Policy Briefing No. 3 - October 2010
T
his analysis produced by the Transnational Institute of the Burma Centrum Netherlands examines the background to the forthcoming elections in Myanmar and concludes that "the elections are not an endgame that the regime has already won, but the beginning of a new contest, which will play out over several years, the outcome of which is highly unpredictable." 
       
Richard Horsey : Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum - 25 August 2010
Election timetable, constituencies, registration process, border tensions, campaign period
       
National Democratic Institute - August 2010
A legal and human rights analysis. Somwhat emotive and inaccurate, but better than many.
      
Burma Centrum Nederland/ Transnational Institute - Burma Policy Briefing No. 2: June 2010
A well-reasoned analysis of the forthcoming elections in Myanmar, with responsible and sensible conclusions and recommendations primarily addressed to the West, since Asian countries are unlikely to contest the legitimacy and credibility of the process to quite the extent that several Western Governments have already done.
See also Burma Policy Briefing No. 1: June 2010. "Burma in 2010: A critical year in ethnic politics"
The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies - June 2010
An analysis by the CPCS of opinions inside Myanmar about the forthcoming elections. It seeks to record the voices of ordinary people.
 
International Crisis Group - 27 May 2010
Essential reading for everyone interested in the elections due to be held later this year. Highlights some widely held misconceptions.
 
Burmese Perspectives - 15 May 2010
Derek Tonkin examines the significance of events between the miitary coup on 18 September 1988 and the agreement conceded by the National League for Democracy on 27 October 1990 to surrender its claimed mandate to govern and to participate in the constitutional process controlled by the military regime at the time.
     
Michael F Martin: Congressional Research Service Report to Congress 29 April 2010
      
Richard Horsey: Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum - 31 March 2010          
    
This account is reproduced with the author's consent from pages 496 - 503 of "The State in Myanmar" by Robert H Taylor, published in 2009 by Hurst & Company, London.    
         
Burma Lawyers Council - 7 March 2010
The authors point up the manifold flaws and fallacies in the 2008 Constitution and their concerns about the 2010 Elections. Human rights considerations tend to dominate the analysis.
        
Centre for International Governance and Justice - November 2009
Morten Pedersen observes that as Burma prepares for its first elections in twenty years and the inauguration of a new constitution, democrats are understandably decrying the non-participatory nature of the transition process, as well as the non-democratic content of the new system that will likely eventuate. There is, however, no realistic scenario under which Burma would move directly from military dictatorship to democracy. The most germane question politically is therefore whether these steps might bring some change for the better and could perhaps be the start of a longer-term process of political liberalisation and, eventually, democratisation.
     
Susanne Prager Nyein - Journal of Contemporary Asia Vol.39 No. 4 November 2009
A thoughtful and persuasive critique of the 2008 Constitution and the likely effect of the Elections scheduled for 2010. Ms Nyein concludes: "Ultimately, the new constitution confirms the current power position of the military in state and society, however, with a civilian veneer not unlike the 1974 constitution established by the Ne Win regime. It codifies the role of the military as an oversight institution independent of civilian control, with its coercive apparatus intact, and in full charge of defense, security, and border affairs. The "coup d'etat clause" entitles the military constitutionally to intervene and revert to direct rule whenever it deems necessary and thus embarks Burma on an indefinite loop of military rule. Therefore, we may ask at last, why does Burma's military regime bother and pretend to transform its direct rule into a constitutional system under civilian guise? One answer may lie in the nature of today's international state-system that requires a certain standard and make-up of a modern state and is uneasy about military dictatorships. Another answer seems to be sheer expediency. The transformation will for some time take pressure out of Burma's society by allowing a controlled engagement of civilians in politics, without the military having to compromise its supreme power position. In any case, the military is in an all-win situation in this process with not much left for the civilian 'rest'."
        
ALTSEAN 30 October 2009
The elections, so ALTSEAN believes, "will have disastrous impacts on Burma and the region". More recommendations to the UN Security Council on what they "must" do.  
       
International Crisis Group Report - 20 August 2009
The bizarre prosecution and conviction of opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for violating her house arrest has returned attention to repression in Myanmar, as preparations were underway for the first national elections in twenty years, now scheduled for 2010. This further undermined what little credibility the exercise may have had, especially when based on a constitution that institutionalises the military's political role. The UN Secretary-General's July visit, which produced no tangible results, added to the gloom. But while the elections will not be free and fair - a number of prominent regime opponents have been arrested and sentenced to prison terms over the last year - the constitution and elections together will fundamentally change the political landscape in a way the government may not be able to control. Senior Generals Than Shwe and Maung Aye may soon step down or move to ceremonial roles, making way for a younger military generation. All stakeholders should be alert to opportunities that may arise to push the new government toward reform and reconciliation.             
          
ALTSEAN 30 May 2009
A doom and gloom assessment from the ALTSEAN stable, meticulously researched, but providing as pessimistic an analysis as you are likely to find anywhere.         
             
OSI sponsored unpublished paper - December 2008
Professor Ghai is however aware that his critique was based, not on the final text of the Constitution, but on the "Detailed Basic Principles" finalised at the National Convention which concluded on 3 September 2007. He was not aware that the text he had been given was not the final text. He has undertaken to review his assessment when he has studied the actual Constitution, which has certain differences from the Principles.
          
Human Rights Watch - May 2008
An impassioned critique of the 2008 Constitution, but like the analysis by Professor Ghai (above) based on the "Detailed Basic Principles" finally approved at the National Convention in September 2007 and not on the actual draft of the Constitution drawn up by the Constitution Drafting Committee and completed in February 2008, but of which the English version only appeared in September 2008.  
          
This report contains a brief history of the National Convention to that date. It also announced the Seven Point Road Map which is reproduced here for ease of reference:
(1) - Reconvening of the National Convention that has been adjourned since 1996.
(2) - After the successful holding of the National Convention, step by step implementation of the process necessary for the emergence of a genuine and disciplined democratic system.
(3) - Drafting of a new constitution in accordance with basic principles and detailed basic principles laid down by the National Convention.
(4) - Adoption of the constitution through national referendum.
(5) - Holding of free and fair elections for Pyithu Hluttaws (legislative bodies) according to the new constitution.
(6) - Convening of Hluttaws attended by Hluttaw members in accordance with the new constitution.
(7) - Building a modern, developed and democratic nation by the state leaders elected by the Hluttaw; and the government and other central organs formed by the Hluttaw.
 
The political parties which successfully contested the 1990 Elections reluctantly agreed in October 1990 to take part in a National Convention to prepare the outlines of a new Constitution. Preparatory work began in 1992 and the Convention itself opened on 9 January 1993. After an eight-year gap from 1996 to 2004, the Convention concluded on 3 September 2007 with the publication of "Detailed Basic Principles" which were the basis used by an appointed group of 54 constitutional experts to draft the Constitution.

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