Myanmar pledges free, fair elections in 2015

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Myanmar pledges free, fair elections in 2015
Yangon, Oct 21: Myanmar's Union Election Commission (UEC) Tuesday pledged free and fair general elections in 2015, calling upon political parties, civil society organisations and international aid groups to cooperate for the upcoming event.

However, UEC chairman U Tin Aye asked civil society organisations to be free from political bias when they observe the upcoming elections initially set for the last week of October or the first week of November 2015, Xinhua reported.

U Tin Aye told a workshop that the commission carried out a pilot project, to compile voting lists in the Yangon region as well as the Kachin and Chin states, recently with the participation of 25 civil society organisations.

He said that legitimate, migrant workers in foreign countries would be able to cast votes in Myanmar embassies there. However, those who do so illegally would have to return to their homeland if they wanted to cast their votes.

Myanmar last held its general elections Nov 7, 2010, when the Union Solidarity and Development Party won the majority of votes with its chairman U Thein Sein elected as the country's president to lead the civilian government after five decades of military rule.

On April 1, 2012, the first by-elections were held in which opposition National League for Democracy won 43 out of the 45 then open parliamentary seats with its chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi occupying a seat in the House of Representatives or the lower house of parliament.

The second round of by-elections, which was originally scheduled for near the end of this year, has been cancelled due to the upcoming ASEAN Summit to be hosted by Myanmar next month.

IANS

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