US Urges Myanmar to Hold Inclusive Election
By Nan Lwin 28 October 2020
YANGON — The United States has pledged its support for Myanmar’s democratic reforms and urged State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to hold a “transparent and inclusive election” on Nov. 8 during a telephone conversation on Tuesday.
The call comes as Myanmar’s Union Election Commission faces criticism for its decision to cancel voting in areas dominated by ethnic minorities.
The US State Department said David Hale, under secretary for political affairs, spoke to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to reaffirm US support for democratic reforms and humanitarian relief efforts.
Hale also called for “a credible, transparent and inclusive election in November” as the US holds a far more controversial election days earlier.
Last week, ethnic parties slammed the UEC’s decision to cancel voting in many ethnic strongholds in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states which denies the right to vote from nearly 1.5 million citizens. Moreover, many international observers and ethnic parties say the election will not be free and fair, citing censorship of political parties’ speeches on the state media and campaign restrictions.
Hale pressed Myanmar to end conflict across the country, while fighting is intensifying in northern Shan and Rakhine states.
The State Department also called on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to guarantee the secure, voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya and other displaced communities.
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