Election Universe

Great expectations for Myanmar’s first open general election?

Great expectations for Myanmar’s first open general election?
August 03 2015, 16:45

On 8 November Myanmar will hold its first open general election in 25 years to elect a second government under the 2008 constitution. The president in Myanmar is not directly elected by the people, but chosen by MPs following the vote.

For these upcoming autumn historic polls, the president Thein Sein has reaffirmed his vow to hold “free and fair” elections. On the other hand, Aung San Suu Kyi has announced that her opposition party would participate. However, under the Burmese constitution, Ms Suu Kyi is barred from becoming president, because her late husband was British and her two sons are British citizens.

Political leaders and analysts around the world are closely following Myanmar news as the elections could mark a new beginning in the democratization of the region.

Here are some attention-grabbing numbers for the November election:

– Constituencies for the 2015 election: 330 Lower House constituencies, 168 for the Upper House, 644 for regional or state parliaments and 29 for regional or state parliaments for ethnic minorities.

– Schedule for nominations: The Union Election Commission (UEC) announced that the parties can nominate candidates from July 20 until August 8. Nominees will be scrutinised from August 12 to August 21.

– Parties’ registration: According to the UEC, 73 parties have applied for registration to run. Checks are being conducted on 14 of them.

– Number of voters: In a nation of about 51 million citizens, it is estimated that some 30 million voters would cast their ballot.

– Voter lists have been already printed out. The election commission admitted errors in the lists, and it is urging administrative bodies, political parties, social organisations and voters to help improve the accuracy of the voter lists.

– Military power in parliament: 25 percent of the 664 parliamentary seats are reserved for the military. Making constitutional changes requires over 75% of the assembly approval.

Sources: The BBC, Nationmultimedia.com, Cnn.com

Image by Stefan Munder via Flickr