Historic Polls Face Heavy Criticism

Burma’s ethnic and rural populations have little access to information about the nation’s first elections in 20 years.”(2010-11-04)

Burma held elections Nov. 7 as its ruling military junta attempts to establish civilian rule. But political opposition and ethnic groups within the nation, and key global powers have deemed the polls, the first in two decades, unfair and undemocratic.

Ahead of the vote, an estimated 2,200 political prisoners remain jailed, several ethnic groups and opposition parties have been banned from participating, and anti-election campaigners have been threatened with prison. Many Burmese see the election as an attempt by the junta to legitimize their continued hold on power.

The Burmese regime has scrapped elections in Karen state, as well as several other ethnic areas where the army is not in control.”(2010-11-02)

Burma’s teahouse patrons are fearful of discussing upcoming elections.”(2010-11-01)