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Why is the Myanmar military holding an election?

What happened to the opposition?

77-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to 33 years in prison after being convicted on multiple charges that her allies were calling to end her political career. Dozens of NLD officials were also in jail or on the run.

The junta disbanded the NLD and 39 other parties after failing to meet the election registration deadline on Tuesday (28 March).

Many opposition figures and activists view the elections as fraudulent and some have joined shadow governments that seek to undermine the military or have taken up arms with the resistance movement.

Who will win the election?

No election date has been set, but with the NLD excluded and most of the 63 registered parties only fighting for seats in local councils, the military proxy United Solidarity and Progressive Party (USDP) is almost certain to win. at the national level.

USDP was created by previous military governments prior to conversion. The NLD and many other parties prevailed in the boycotted 2010 elections, but lost convincingly before these votes were overruled in 2015 and 2020.

Despite the leaders overseeing most of Myanmar’s biggest reforms, the USDP remains unpopular and synonymous with military rule. Another USDP government is likely to be viewed locally with skepticism.

How will the world react to the election?

Many Western countries and international organizations have already dismissed the elections as illegal and expressed concern that key stakeholders in Myanmar are being excluded from the political process. I am also concerned that the conflict will intensify.

Many economic sanctions that were removed in recognition of reforms since 2011 have been reintroduced and are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon due to elections or premature action by the governments that created them.

Myanmar’s neighbors, who have favored a policy of military intervention, may take a wait-and-see approach, including overinvesting in Myanmar.

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