21 October 2015
Ethnicity is an important factor in Myanmar’s upcoming general elections. Understanding the nuances and context of ethnicity are crucial in solving the country’s woes.
Myanmar will vote on 8 November in the country’s first inclusive polls since 1990. 32 million voters will choose representatives for 1171 seats (or three-quarters) of the national and regional parliaments. In addition, the head of the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) will appoint the remaining quarter (around 380 seats) as provided in the constitution.
A mosaic of 92 parties and 304 independent candidates are contesting. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) is expected to perform well, but the ruling military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) aims to retain a crucial number of seats. There are concerns about whether the elections will be free, fair and inclusive, and the results honoured. Suu Kyi remains constitutionally barred from executive office while ethnic conflict and religious tensions threaten to mar an already unpredictable vote.
… Kyaw San Wai is Senior Analyst and Naoko Kumada is Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 26/10/2015