Myanmar ready for elections, military set to win

November 6th, 2010 - 1:45 am ICT by BNO News  

YANGON, MYANMAR (BNO NEWS) — With over 3,000 candidates from 37 parties, Myanmar is set for its elections, 20 years after the country had its last elections, but international observers view the polls as unfair with military-backed parties highly being favored.

Sunday’s nationwide voting gathers over 29 million voters in over 40,000 polling stations, but with hundreds of possible candidates held under house arrest or prison, such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, two military-backed parties are seen as the most probable winners.

Union Solidarity and Development Party are widely seen as the favorites to take power as political observers around world, activists, and critics, claim the polls are unfair.

Voters will elect representatives to two houses of parliament with 900 seats in the 14 state/regional assemblies. 440 seats are available in the lower house, the People’s Assembly, while the upper house, the Nationalities Assembly, will have 224.

However, the military has 25 percent of the seats reserved, leaving voters with limited options.

Furthermore, international journalists and election observers have been prohibited entry, while most candidates find difficulty in just raising enough money to deposit as required. In addition, the government has been in strict control of media and campaigning.

During the last elections in 1990, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won unanimously, but the party was not allowed to take power when the military nullified the vote.

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