Statement on Parliamentary Elections in Burma

With today’s elections, the people of Burma marked an important event in their path to democracy, one that has seen many ups, downs and false starts over the years, and I congratulate them for taking this step toward a peaceful and inclusive future.

Following a competitive campaign period, millions of people from a wide range of political views participated in the election of their representatives, a step that would have seemed impossible even five years ago. At the same time, we must also acknowledge significant flaws and challenges that will need to be addressed going forward. We have consistently raised concerns that the constitution sets aside a quarter of the seats for the military, that the leader of the opposition is barred from seeking the presidency, that scores of candidates were disqualified in a non-transparent manner, and that virtually all Rohingya have been disenfranchised. These are fundamental issues of fairness and inclusivity.  Read More