Military-backed Party Wins Controversial Elections in Myanmar
The two democratic parties of the country, the National Democratic Force and the Democratic Party, conceded defeat on Tuesday as the pro-military party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, said it has won some 80 seats in the parliament.
At least six parties complaint on Tuesday with the electoral commission about the fact that the people working in the state institutions were forced to vote for the pro-military party.
Human Rights Education Institute of Burma acknowledges, through one of its coordinators, that the pro-military party promised people different things to the purpose of bringing them to enlist to the party, then told them to vote for the junta, threatening that otherwise they would lose their jobs and the privileges granted.
In spite of the allegations that they would ensure democratic elections, the international community considers them a sham because of the way the opposition candidates were treated.
The military government says by these elections, the first in 20 years, it is trying to create a civil government in order to end a 50 years of military rule.
Still, according to the Constitution, a quarter of the seats in Parliament are already reserved for the military, which makes the distribution of the others of little consequence for the power balance.
While most of the analysts consider the outcome of the elections irrelevant for the future of the country, there are few who think that, though biased, these elections could open the country for a new era in which other voices could be heard.
The elections come at a time when clashes along the Myanmar-Thailand border decrease in intensity. On Sunday and Monday, thousands of Burmese people had to flee the country into Thailand and returned today after the Thai authorities assured them that it was safe to do so.
The National League for Democracy won the elections in 1990 but were never allowed to come to power, and leaders of the party such Aung San Suu Kyi were placed under house arrest or even jailed.
The international community conditioned the recognition of the elections on the release of the dissidents of the regime.
The junta officials assured that Suu Kyi could be released from prison after the elections.11