Thein Sein Vows Elections Will Be Free and Fair
By The Irrawaddy 9 July 2015
RANGOON — Burmese President Thein Sein vowed on Thursday to “try” to carry out free and fair elections, which will be held later this year.
“Our government vows that we will try our best to have clean, free and fair 2015 general elections, the first one held under a civilian government after many years,” Thein Sein said during his monthly radio address to the nation.
Burma’s Union Election Commission UEC) announced on Wednesday that the highly anticipated polls will be held on Nov. 8.
The country’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has not yet committed to contest the election, but said it will make an announcement following a central committee meeting on Saturday.
In his address, the President also said his administration will continue pushing for a nationwide ceasefire agreement before the polls, a pact that has been years in the making and toward which progress has slowed in recent months.
The peace deal would be a precursor to political dialogue between the government and ethnic armed groups, which have been at war for decades.
Regarding efforts to amend key sections of the nation’s military-drafted Constitution, which were recently voted down by Parliament, Thein Sein said changes should be made at the appropriate time with regard to political developments.
“Results from the political dialogue will also be a part of the constitutional changes. I want to say that the current ongoing [parliamentary] attempts to make changes to the charter are a big political shift,” he said.