Voters in Myanmar have gone to the polls for an election that is expected to bring the party back to power. Aung San Suu Kyi, Who remains very popular at home despite allegations of genocide that have tarnished his image abroad.
In the country’s second general election since the end of the entire military rule, people lined up for hours on Sunday. Most wore masks as a precaution against coronavirus. The country has confirmed more than 60,000 infections, most of which have been reported since mid-August.
Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to remain in power, even as the country battles the coronavirus epidemic, which is raging in the Rakhine state. Accused of genocide In the UN Supreme Court.
Five years after his party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi maintains strong support among the Ba’athist majority, which respects her as a defender of democracy. While ruthlessly cracking Dr. Rohingya Muslims harass many foreigners, have little sympathy at home for their plight, and this has not been a factor in election campaigns.
In a Facebook video released on Thursday, Aung San Suu Kyi urged people to go out and vote. “Every voter is writing their own history, the history of this election and the history of our country,” he said.
About 38 million people were eligible to vote in the election, including 5 million first-time voters.
“I’m not at all afraid of being infected with Kovid-19,” 27-year-old Khain Zar Chi told AFP when she first cast her ballot in Yangon. “I don’t care if I die for Mother Sue.”
Others, however, accuse Aung San Suu Kyi of failing to deliver on the democratic reforms promised in 2015, or keeping promises. To bring peace and harmony.
Voting was canceled in many areas dominated by ethnic minorities, apparently due to security concerns over fighting between the military and armed groups seeking more autonomy. It is feared that the decision, which has deprived about 1.5 million people of the right to vote, will provoke resentment and strife.
Analysts say voting has been suspended Even in areas where fighting is limited.
Rohingya Muslims, who have long been denied citizenship, are still without the right to vote. Most are trapped in complex camps in Bangladesh, where they fled the army in 2017. Hundreds of thousands of people are confined to camps and villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where Human Rights Watch says racial discrimination is a crime against humanity. And persecution.
On Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern about the “legal organs” facing the Rohingya in Myanmar and their inability to vote. UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric said: “It’s important that everyone has a voice and that they
The government-appointed Election Commission has been criticized not only for expelling voters, but also for lack of transparency, discrimination against Muslim candidates and logistical problems.
Last week, a rare interview. In, the commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, accused the civilian government of “unacceptable mistakes” in running for office and called the military the “patron” of the nation. He has since said he will accept the results.
A quarter of the parliamentary seats are reserved for the military, which has been in a restless alliance with the NLD for the past five years. It is extremely powerful and has blocked proposals to change the constitution and reduce its effectiveness.
About 90 parties are competing with the NLD, although the coronavirus epidemic has hampered campaigning in some areas. It is believed that this will hurt most of the smaller, caste-based parties that lack access to state media.
There were fears that the epidemic could prevent people from going to the polls, but analysts reported a strong turnout on Sunday morning.
“People lined up for two hours to cast their ballots in the city of Yangon,” said Khin Zhawin, director of the Tampadipa Institute in Yangon. “There is no need to provoke Myanmar voters,” he said, adding that the importance of elections has long been recognized. “In half a century of democracy, denial under the military, and people know they have the best chance to vote,” he said.
But he added that politicians have consistently disappointed the people. “Reform movements have come but not enough, and not in key areas such as land tenure, citizenship and religious freedom. And corruption is always there, hanging like a cup. ”