On 8 November, voters across Burma will approach polling stations with different thoughts and aspirations running through their minds. There is, however, at least one thing that all will hold in common. In Burma, the vicious excess of past military regimes has touched each life.
The upcoming election will be challenged in ways unique to the country that is now stepping out from the shadow of half a century of brutal dictatorial rule and international pariah status.
Ethnic and religious tension will impact the historic vote and the country’s constitution has been criticised as an undemocratic vehicle for continued military influence. On top of this, the continuation of the world’s longest running civil war— despite significant recent steps toward peace— adds exigency to the need for a smooth shift in power, whichever way the votes are cast.
Despite these concerns, the upcoming general election gives Burma the chance to make a collective step on the path towards national reconciliation.
Join DVB for a window onto the factors that will shape the monumental decision that Burma’s people now have the opportunity to make.