23 September 2010

Indifferent mood greets Burma polls

There are six weeks to go before Burma's first election in 20 years, but many feel that the result is already clear.

Although over 30 political parties will contest the 1,163 seats in the national and regional parliaments, most people believe that the same faces that rule Burma now will be in power after the polls.

The government has founded its own political party - the Union Solidarity and Development Party - headed by the incumbent prime minister.

Most ministers and senior military officers who in recent weeks have resigned from their army positions will run for the USDP.

While other parties struggle to find enough candidates, the USDP is the only party that will contest all constituencies.

The election law provides that when there is only one candidate in a constituency then that candidate will be declared the winner. This means that the government party has already bagged a number of seats even before elections are held.

These seats will be supplemented by the 25% of seats guaranteed under the new constitution for the military, which means unelected military officers will sit in parliament.--Full story at BBC News

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