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Wed Feb 22, 2012, 01:33 AM

Burma faces a fork in the road on April 1st by elections

Former BBC Corespondent Larry Jagan lays out the possibilities and challenges in the critical elections that are coming up in Burma:


Much is riding on the outcome of the forthcoming polls in Myanmar, and more particularly the way in which these by-elections are conducted.

The initial signs are not encouraging. The election is going to be a real test of strength between the liberals who support the president's reform agenda, and the hardliners grouped around Vice President Tin Aung Myint Oo, who seem intent on derailing the reform process, despite publicly declaring their support for democratic reform.

Campaigning for the forthcoming elections is already in full swing. Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is contesting a seat in the parliamentary polls scheduled for April 1, has already made several forays into the countryside, including touring parts of the constituency on the outskirts of Yangon in which she is running.

Tens of thousands of supporters and well-wishers have flocked her route on these occasions to glimpse the iconic figure, who has spent much of the last 20 years under house arrest, often in virtual solidary confinement. Everywhere her reception has been the same, adoring crowds yelling their support for her. "She's been treated like a pop star," said freelance journalist Min Thu, who has been following her entourage. "The excitement is overwhelming as people want to see her, wave to her, and for those close enough, to touch her."

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Reply Burma faces a fork in the road on April 1st by elections (Original post)
grantcart Feb 2012 OP
ellisonz Feb 2012 #1

Response to grantcart (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2012, 04:42 AM

1. Hoping for change.

It would be nice though if the U.S. could keep up the pressure...this is certainly a limited opportunity to get democracy rolling Burma.

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