Burma’s Seven-Point Gambit
covering burma and southeast asia
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
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Burma’s Seven-Point Gambit


By Aung Lwin Oo MAY, 2005 - VOLUME 13 NO.5


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Can free elections lead to democratic reform?

 

While future elections in Burma remain a part of the ruling junta’s seven-point “road map” for democratic reform, the significance of such elections—and their likelihood of leading to democratic reform—remains unclear.

 

“The government has established a seven-point road map for democracy, and that map is the chief political focus of the state,” says Snr-Gen Than Shwe, the leader of Burma’s military junta. Ousted Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt first introduced the so-called road map two years ago.

 

As long as the soldiers hold their arms at the ready, [a constitutional draft] will become the law  

 

The announcement of the seven-point plan, which includes a revival of the twelve-year old National Convention, came shortly after Thai officials in Bangkok made a similar suggestion to the military regime. The convention bears the daunting responsibility of drafting a new constitution that must then get approval by a referendum and ultimately lead to free elections.

 

Fifteen years have passed since Burma’s last election, in which the National League for Democracy won a landslide victory but was prevented from assuming their rightful control of the government. Since that time, many opposition leaders have died or have retired from public life. Still more languish in Burma’s prisons.

 

Will the outcome be any different for future elections in Burma?

 

“It makes no difference that those elected in 1990 have either died, are still living in prisons or are too intimidated to speak out.



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