Despite ‘Dirty Tricks’ Allegations, Election Optimism Sweeps Burma

Despite many ethnic communities being excluded from the vote, dodgy voter lists that omitted thousands of voters’ names and others that had thousands of ‘extra’ names people across the country turned out to show their support for political parties.

A media statement released in the name of US Secretary of State, John Kerry, congratulated “the people of Burma on the November 8 election and commends all of the people and institutions in the country who worked together to hold a peaceful and historic poll.”

The US State Department’s statement pointed out that there were several worrying “structural and systemic impediments to the realization of full democratic and civilian government, including the reservation of a large number of unelected seats for the military; the disfranchisement of groups of people who voted in previous elections, including the Rohingya; and the disqualification of candidates based on arbitrary application of citizenship and residency requirements.”

The NLD accused the election commission ‘influencing’ the vote by handing out extra ballot papers, holding advance voting behind locked doors at military and government offices.

In the Karen State township of Kawkareik, hundreds of voters were denied a vote. A Kawkreik resident who is monitoring the situation closely told Karen News that voters from two whole villages near Kawkreik couldn’t vote.

“There are as many as 300 voters from two villages in Nan Kaw Toe village tract who couldn’t cast their votes because their voting list got lost.”

The National League of Democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi indicated to the international media that her party had done well. Officials have said that the results of the election will not be known until for several days.

If the main opposition party, the NLD wins, it would end more than 60 years of the country being controlled by the military.

Aung Suu Kyi told reporters at her NLD’s headquarters in Rangoon that it was too early for congratulation.

One of the election’s big losers was the confirmation that the country’s, speaker of the lower house of parliament, the ruling party’s USDP member, Shwe Mann, was beaten by a NLD candidate.

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