Burma Appoints Election Commission as Canada Slams Junta
11 March 2010: An Election Commission that will oversee Burma’s upcoming general elections has been formed, state-owned television and radio announced today.
State-run broadcast media said that a 17-member Commission has been instituted by a signed order of General Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, Secretary-1 of the ruling State Peace and Development Council.
The announcement follows the promulgation of a new set of laws governing the new election early this week by the military junta, which has received severe international criticisms for deliberately excluding the main political actors from participating in the elections.
Canada today expresses its deep concerns at the new law, saying that it is a resolute failure on the part of the military regime to deliver on its promise to conduct a free and fair election.
Reiterating Canada’s public stance on the Burmese junta, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said that Burma must free all political prisoners, including the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and hold a genuine dialogue with members of the democratic opposition and the different ethnic groups.
“Elements of the laws point to a deliberate effort by Burmese military leaders to prevent legitimate democratic actors from participating in the promised elections,” Cannon said.
The Philippine, which shares a membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with Burma, has called the new election law a “farce,” accusing the Burmese junta of reneging on its own promise under the Road Map to Democracy, which was sold to regional neighbors and the international community as a political process that will be free and fair.
The United States has also called the election law a “mockery of the democratic process,” although the Obama Administration has made it clear that it will not just yet turn away from its ongoing diplomatic dialogue with Burma.
According to the state media, the new oversight body appointed by the military junta to conduct the elections this year will be made up as follows;
1. U Thein Soe (Chairman)
2. U In Zaw Naw (Member)
3. U Khin Maung Nu (Member)
4. U Soe Ba Hlaing (Member)
5. Dr. Ba Maung (Member)
6. U Nyunt Tin (Member)
7. U Maung Tha Hla (Member)
8. Dr. Sai Khum Hlaing (Member)
9. U Aung Myint (Member)
10. U Myint Naing (Member)
11. Dr. Tin Aung Aye (Member)
12. Dr. Daw Myint Kyi (Member)
13. Daw Khin Hla Myint (Member)
14. U Tha Oo (Member)
15. Dr. Maung Htoo (Member)
16. U THa Htay (Member)
17. U Win Kyi (Member)