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Burmese Junta's Election Jive

Burmese Junta's Election Jive

Press Release: Terry Evans

15 September 2010

Today the ruling Burmese junta has disbanded the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). The NLD, led by detained pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, had planned to boycott the November 7 election campaign.

Taking no chances, the junta has also imposed tight restrictions on Buddhist monks in Rangoon and Mandalay. They are determined to prevent renewed protest on the anniversary of the monk-led Saffron Revolution of September 2007. Security forces have been deployed on the streets near monasteries and pagodas. Security is especially tight near the famed Shwedagon Pagoda, which served as the focal point in Rangoon during the 2007 uprising.

Burma's November elections are the first in two decades. They are being rigged in favour of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) - the political party backed by the ruling military junta. Challengers face financial and other handicaps with challenger parties currently fielding candidates in less than half of the national and regional constituencies.The junta's backing gives the USDP, led by Prime Minister Thein Sein, access to money and a national presence. By shutting down the NLD before the election and creating obstacles to other political parties, the USDP is unfairly advantaged.


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