The Myanmar General Election 2020, which is held every five years, will officially start voting on November 8. Before the election, local media predicted that the current ruling party, the National League for Democracy, would continue to be elected without any suspense. Public opinion in Southeast Asia still focuses on the progress of the US general election. However, the current severe situation of the new crown epidemic and the status of human rights and democracy in Myanmar are still attracting international attention.
Myanmar’s digital television media began live broadcasting the voting in the 2020 general election on November 8. Some public communities in Yangon set up large screens to track the progress of the election. The Myanmar election has about 37 million legal voters who voted for candidates from 97 political parties. The number of early voters was about 6 million. According to health regulations, voters must wear masks to the nearest polling station to vote. However, many voters did not line up and vote in accordance with the prescribed order. The election organization was obviously understaffed.
Thai media reported that the Myanmar election will produce the Union of Myanmar Parliament. This including 330 seats in the House of Representatives and 168 seats in the Upper House. It is widely observed that the general election competition will be launched between the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The military-backed Federal Consolidation and Development Party (USDP), but other small party forces with military backgrounds. That is, voters vote for party candidates in a single electoral district.
Myanmar General Election 2020
The Burmese media broadcast the voting of the commander-in-chief of the Burmese National Defense Forces (Min Aung Hlaing) stated that he would accept the election results in accordance with the wishes of the people. Min Aung Lai was once accused by the UN Human Rights Investigation Report of conniving his subordinates to commit human rights violations against Myanmar Muslims. Before this general election, many military personnel in Myanmar criticized the National League for Democracy for using government resources to try to monopolize the general election.
The Myanmar military officer warned before the general election and declared that he would closely follow the voting process of the general election. Observers on Southeast Asian issues pointed out that Myanmar’s domestic foreign posture is currently undergoing an interesting change. Burmese soldiers who resisted the United States in the past have shown a “pro-American” trend. Whereas Aung San Suu Kyi, who was previously regarded as a “democracy fighter” by the Western world, has chosen To take the pro-China route. In any case, the military forces in Myanmar still have an absolute advantage in the current Myanmar Constitution and the National Assembly.
A Burmese person stranded in Thailand due to the epidemic expressed an opinion that the new crown pneumonia infection in Myanmar is now serious, with more than 60,000 infected people. The number of infections in a single day exceeded 2,000. Currently, the Election Commission of Myanmar still allows political parties to carry out canvassing activities as usual. This has triggered criticism of the Election Commission from the people. Earlier, Myanmar’s Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi rejected the opposition’s proposal to postpone the election due to the epidemic.
Aung San Suu Kyi
According to the analysis of the Thai media, Aung San Suu Kyi is good at promoting the reconciliation of various ethnic groups and safeguarding humanitarian work. This time, he insisted on holding the general election according to the original schedule because it was judged that this would be beneficial to the ruling party that holds government resources. The Burmese authorities also announced the cancellation of voting activities in Rakhine State and Chin State on the grounds that the war has affected personal safety. Further consolidating the possibility of the National League for Democracy winning. However, this has also caused considerable controversy among the participating parties.
In response to the Myanmar national election, the US Deputy Secretary of State David Hale recently revealed that he himself had telephone contact with Aung San Suu Kyi. Besides expressing the US’s support for Myanmar’s implementation of a democratic political system, he also calling for transparency, reliability and comprehensiveness way to hold elections. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also issued a statement expressing his close attention to the national elections in Myanmar, emphasizing that the elections are peaceful, orderly and credible.
Professor Dulyapak Preecharush
Professor Dulyapak Preecharush, a Southeast Asian research scholar at Thammasat University in Thailand, believes that today’s Myanmar government still has a highly centralized “democratic and authoritarian” nature. After the previous two referendums, the Myanmar National League for Democracy will be elected in 2020. What is worth paying attention to is whether the NLD can continue to retain its seats in this general election. Besides, how is it going to carry out internal reforms and coordinate military-political relations?
The Myanmar Democratic League won an absolute majority in the parliament in the general election held in November 2015. Although reforms were once implemented on Myanmar’s constitution and regulations in the past, they still could not shake the position of military-political groups in Myanmar’s political system. The change of president after the US election will surely bring influence. Changes to Myanmar’s international relations in the future. After all, Myanmar occupies a very important position in the strategic competition between China and the United States.
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