US delegation discusses electoral reform with democracy groups

US delegation discusses electoral reform with democracy groups

A delegation of US officials led by the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski met with representatives from the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party and the Karen State Progressive Party in Karen State’s capital Hpa-an on Monday to discuss issues related to the upcoming 2015 national elections.

According to Nang Khin Htwe Myint, a central executive committee member of the NLD who attended the meetings, the US delegation heard both parties’ thoughts on the Union Election Commission (UEC), a government body delegated with monitoring and handling the 2015 national elections, and on the proposed proportional representative voting system that is currently being discussed in parliament.

Nang Khin Htwe Myint added that the US officials will also be meeting with UEC’s chairman Tin Aye, and they will speak about how to ensure a free and fair election process in 2015.

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Beside Karen State, the US delegation has visited Moulmein, Mon State, and they will also visit Naypyidaw and Rangoon before ending on 28 June. Representatives from the US Defence, State and Treasury departments will meet with Burmese military leaders to talk about human rights, according to a statement released by the State Department. They will also be meeting with civil societies, ethnic organisations and political leaders to talk about democratic reforms and the challenges faced by voters in their constituencies.

In Rangoon, representatives from the Treasury Department will be meeting with regional and international business delegates to discuss issues of transparency, credibility, human rights, environmental protections, and responsible investments.

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