The first elections since 1990 have been won by the pro-junta Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). The voting took place on Monday the 8th of November.
The elections have been widely criticised by human rights organisations. The biggest opposition party, the National League for Democracy, which won the only elections in 1990 has been banned from the elections, with Aung San Suu Kyi the nobel peace prize winner opposition leader under house arrest during the elections.
“That Myanmar continues to hold more than 2,200 political prisoners exposes the government’s contempt for human rights in these elections,” said Salil Shetty Amnesty International’s Secretary General. “Their self-described ‘Roadmap to Democracy’, of which these elections are meant to be a significant part, seems to lead only to continuing political repression.”
Elections observers and foreign journalists were not permitted to go to the country, as they were banned from monitoring the elections.
“These elections presented an opportunity for Myanmar to make meaningful human rights changes on its own terms. “Instead, throughout the run up to the polls, the government has attacked the rights necessary for holding meaningful elections” stated Salil Shetty.
The legitimacy of the elections have been questioned by almost all major human rights organizations with many politicians joining the condemnation of the ‘fake’ elections. US President Barack Obama has claimed that the elections were ‘neither free or fair’. However, in contrast with the remarks of US President Barack Obama, China has welcomed the election results, and believe it is a step towards democracy Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman as Hong Lei said on Tuesday.
Riots broke out during the elections in the southern parts of Burma, as a border town to Burma has been seized by breakaway militant group called the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). Approximately 15,000 refugees have been have fled the region for Thailand.
‘The UN Refugee Agency is coordinating efforts to provide shelter, food and water for thousands of refugees who have crossed into northern Thailand to escape fighting between ethnic Karen rebels and Myanmar government troops’ a UN Refugee Agency press release states. Some of the refugees have already started to return to Burma.