Editor’s Note: Despite voices of opposition from the West calling the latest election in Myanmar/ Burma as a ‘sham’ and ‘undemocratic’, it is important to remember that countries must be given a chance to develop on their own without any foreign pressure and interferences.The latest Myanmar general elections is an important step in the democratisation process. The people of Myanmar should be given a chance to see their nation develop on its own without any forceful foreign interferences. Should other countries feel the need to monitor such elections then let there be a multi-lateral team that can oversee and assist with the election process. Let’s wait for the Myanmar result.
YANGON – A multi-party parliamentary by-elections began across Myanmar Sunday morning at 6 am local time with over 6.4 million eligible voters of 45 constituencies starting to go to polls and cast votes at respective polling booths.
A total of 157 candidates, representing 17 political parties and 7 individuals, are standing for the by-elections for 45 vacant seats of parliamentary representatives scattered in 45 township constituencies in 9 regions or states.
In Yangon region, over 1 million eligible voters from six township constituencies started to go to poll and cast votes as scheduled.
A woman votes ata ballot station during by-elections in Yangon April 1, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
The face of the city appeared calm in early morning with lesser traffic moving about and some shops being kept open.
In Yangon’s six township constituencies, scattered as Kawhmu, Thonkwa, Dagon Seikkan, Mingala Taungnyunt, Hlegu and Mayangon, a total of six parties will contest for six vacant seats of House of Representatives.
The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the National League for Democracy (NLD) constitute as the two main contestants as the two parties run all six constituencies in the Yangon region. Other parties go to National Unity Party (NUP) with two constituencies, National Democratic Force (NDF) with three constituencies, Unity and Peace Party (UPP) with one constituency and New National Democracy Party (NNDP) with three constituencies.
Barbara Walton / EPA
A Burmese seller adjusts t-shirts supporting the vote for Aung San Suu Kyi, democracy campaigner and leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, at a shop in Yangon, Myanmar, on 29 March. A new wave of reform in Myanmar is taking place ahead of parliamentary by-elections scheduled for 01 April, in which Aung San Suu Kyi will contest in the rural constituency of Kawmhu, south of Yangon. Her father General Aung San, who was assassinated by rivals in 1947, is seens on T-shirt on the right.
Elections at gunpoint, Myanmar-style. Photo: Radio Liberty/AFP
Around 10,000 people have fled fighting on the border of Thailand and Burma a day after Burma’s first election in 20 years. The fighting broke out between the Burmese Army and ethnic rebels. The election is designed to easily return the military government, though now in civilian form.
Supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi during an election campaign of the National league for Democracy (NLD) party in Yangon, march 28, 2012.
Woman with child at the election
Supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi- Real Election or Military Selection
A woman casts a vote during an early voting at a polling atation in Mingala Taungnyunt Township, Yangon, a day before Myanmar's by-election. (AP PHOTO/KHIN MAUNG WIN)