2010 Elections: Miscellany

 
Vietnamese Parliamentary Elections May 2007
Deutsche Presse-Agentur - 29 May 2007

For sake of comparison with recent elections in Myanmar and Afghanistan. Voter turnout was 99.6% among 56.4 million eligible voters. The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPVN) won 439 of 483 available seats, or 90.89%. Associations affiliated to the CPVN secured 43 of the remaining 44 seats and there was one successful 'self-nominated' candidate among 30 who contested seats. Voting in Vietnam is not compulsory.
 
Afghan Parliamentary Elections
BBC New South  Asia - 24 November 2010
Questions and Answers by the BBC on the 18 September 2010  elections to the Lower House ('Wolesi Jirga') in Afghanistan whose results (apart from 11 seats in Ghazni Province) have only just been declared. The elections were marked by violence and corruption on a massive scale. 1.3 million votes, about 25% of all the votes, were declared invalid. 24 of the 249 members elected to the Lower House were later disqualified because of alleged fraud. Over 1,000 of 6,835 polling centres could not be opened for security reasons. The ballot paper for Kabul Province had over 650 names.
Note by Network Myanmar: In comparison, the recent elections in Myanmar might be seen by many as a model of Asian-style parliamentary democracy. EU Heads of Delegations in Kabul have however "welcomed the announcement of the final results" and say that the "EU looks forward to working with the Government, the newly elected Wolesi Jirga, civil society and other stakeholders as Afghanistan takes forward electoral reforms." On the elections in Myanmar, the UK has been particularly scathing. 
 
Burma and Haiti - a Tale of two Elections
Los Angeles Times - 23 November 2010
Dan Beeton, a former board member of the US Campaign for Burma, concludes: "If the Obama administration wants to stand on the side of democracy and human rights in Haiti, as it did in Burma, it should support the call of Haitian political parties and groups to postpone the elections until all parties are allowed to run and all eligible voters are guaranteed a vote. Since the cholera outbreak could inhibit the latter, that should be an important consideration as well. Continued support for sham elections, however, would add to a long list of U.S. injustices against one of our closest neighbor states."
 
Preliminary Independent Monitoring 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.
 
BBC Burmese Service election programming
BBC World Service Publicity - 2 November 2010
The BBC Burmese Service, launched in 1940, is estimated to have a weekly audience of 8.4 million listeners, reaching 22.9% of the country's population. The Head of the Service, Daw Tin Htar Swe, says that "it is hard to overestimate the significance of these elections, which are going to change the political structure of Burma." 
Note by Network Myanmar: Daw Tin Htar Swe's approach to the elections contrasts refreshingly with the ranting nature of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who brushed aside the elections, in an article in the New York Times on 3 October 2010, as "little more than a sham to perpetuate military rule." 

'Standing in solidarity with the people of Burma/Myanmar'
CAFOD - 2 November 2010
CAFOD, the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales, notes that "on 7 November 2010 elections will take place in Burma/Myanmar. CAFOD respects the diversity of opinion that has been expressed by the people of Burma/Myanmar with regards the upcoming elections and we stand in solidarity with them and support their desire for change and for their voices to be heard. We echo the words of Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon when he recently said: 'We are praying there may be justice, freedom, peace and development in our country'."     

Video Report on the Burmese Elections 

SBS.com.au - 31 October 2010
A programme by Evan Williams on the forthcoming elections in Myanmar broadcast by SBS, the Special Broadcasting Service, Australia's multicultural and multilingual broadcaster, with footage of interviews with both pro-military and non-aligned political parties.

New Light of Myanmar 24, 25, 26 and 27 October 2010
Myanmar public information articles on the elections and the voting process may be found on pages 8-9 of each of these four issues of New Light Of Myanmar available at the Online Burma Library.          


Myanmar Election 2010 - Interactive Presentation 
Wall Street Journal Interactive - 23 October 2010 
A not-to-be-missed interactive presentation by the Wall Street Journal on the forthcoming general elections in Myanmar on 7 November 2010.
         
Burma's Election Landscape
Burma Policy Briefing No. 3 - October 2010 
This 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." 

Matthew Russell Lee's Blog on Burma/Myanmar
Inter City Press - September 2010 
Matthew Lee, an accredited journalist to the UN, keeps the organisation on its toes with incisive and witty comment on events there. Currently he has a blog on Burma/Myanmar which is well worth your attention. No doubt more will follow.   

Documentation on the Inter City Website. The UK documents are mostly "Unclassified", one is graded "Confidential" and one "LOCSEN" or Locally Sensitive.  They confirm what is already for the most part public knowledge and were officially released in response to a "Freedom of Information" request.
         
China's Myanmar Strategy: Elections, Ethnic Politics and Economics 
International Crisis Group Asia Briefing No. 112 - 21 September 2010 
This briefing is based on interviews conducted on both sides of the China-Myanmar border, including Yunnan province, Kachin State and Shan State, as well as in Beijing, Kunming, Yangon, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, New York and Washington DC. Crisis Group spoke to a wide range of individuals, including: Chinese experts and officials, ethnic group representatives, members of Burmese civil society, and local and international NGOs. The full 20-page report in pdf format is at this link. 

Elections in Myanmar: TV Report 
ARD (German) - 18 September 2010 
A short preview of a programme to be broadcast at 19.20 on Sunday 19 September 2010 in the programme 'Weltspiegel' on"Das Erste.de". The preview includes an interview with Dr Than Nyein, Chairman of the National Democratic Force, voiced over in German. Dr Nyein explains that they feel they have no choice but to participate if there is to be change in Myanmar.

Myanmar cancels voting plans for some areas
Wall Street Journal - 17 September 2010 
 
Burma bars elections in troubled areas
BBC News - 16 September 2010 
 
Election Commission Notifications - List of areas affected 
It is not yet known how many constituencies may be affected. The Notifications relate to areas in Kachin, Kayah (Karenni), Kayin (Karen), Mon and Shan States.          
        
Global Campaign against the elections 
Burma Partnership - May 2010 
Not for the squeamish. Black and white, with no middle ground.
        
Deputy C-in-C Vice-Senior General Maung Aye comments on the elections 
New Light of Myanmar - 6 April 2010 
Addressing the Graduation Parade of the 113th Intake of the Defence Services Officers Training School on 5 April 2010, Vice-Senior General Maung Aye noted that: "History shows that today certain powers hurt small countries' sovereignty through political, economic, social, dogmatic and diplomtic ways.........This year, elections will be held to elect representatives to parliaments in accordance with the Constitution. The government, the people and the Tatmadaw will see to the elections. So you all have to keep your eyes and ears to potential dangers that may be posed with foreign aids."
       
Burma looks bleak as the NLD decides not to stand 
Daily Telegraph - 29 March 2010 
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International, comments on the forthcoming elections.
           
Position of the Burma Partnership Alliance on the Elections 
10 Alliances - 19 March 2010 
A position paper by the principal opposition organisations.
      
The role of political prisoners in the national reconciliation process
AAPP - March 2010 
Executive Summary and Recommendations of the Main Report
      
1990 election results formally annulled 
Reuters (Yangon) - 11 March 2010 
Agency reports make it clear that the annulment of the results of the 1990 elections is apparent from Article 91 of the Pyithu Hluttaw Law No. 3/2010 which reads: “Pyithu Hluttaw Electoral Law 14/89 issued by State Law and Order Restoration Council is repealed by this law. The results of the multi-party general election in accord with the repealed law are invalid because the results do not conform with the [2008] Constitution.”  

The Burmese Exile Community and the National Reconciliation Process 
Paper delivered at a workshop in Hong Kong in January 2009
Derek Tonkin examines the background to the Overseas Burmese Community and endeavours to assess their motivation and interest in the 2010 elections.       


        

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