Elections In Myanmar Are Undemocratic Without Rohingyas – OpEd


The people of Myanmar and the international community as a whole want a democratic Myanmar, after long military dictatorship and anarchism for more than half a century, in order to restore human rights, equality, peace and sustainable development in the country. 

The international community had a strong reservation to call the 2015 elections ‘free and fair’ for all as the Rohingya, who had participated in all elections held in Burma/Myanmar enabling at least some of their representatives to run for public office until 2010 elections, were excluded from voting without any justification. 

It has been hoped that, under democratic principles, similar exclusion and discrimination will not be repeated in 8 November 2020 elections, and Rohingya will be able to vote as well as to stand for public office. 

But it is an unjust action on the part of the NLD government to continue rejecting voting rights to the ethnic Rohingya, but also not holding election in several townships in Arakan/Rakhine and other ethnic states, under the pretext of security reason, triggering resentments among Rakhine and other ethnic nationalities. 

It indicates that Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party will win enough seats to form government. Whatever the outcome of the elections, the system being practiced by NLD government is undemocratic which cannot fulfil the democratic aspirations of the people. Particularly, we reiterate that without Rohingya participation in the elections and democratic process the elections in Myanmar cannot be free and fair.  To this fact we invite the attention of the U.N. and the international community.  

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