Although the November 7 elections in Myanmar has been criticized as a sham by many countries around the world, the government is determined to push ahead with it. As the day draws near, there are mixed reactions among the Burmese people within the country and abroad.
The opposition party, National League of Democracy, has boycotted the election citing that it is “unfair and undemocratic”, and is urging the citizens not to vote in the elections. Detained Burmese pro-democracy leader, Aung San Su Kyi, also decided that she will not vote in the election even though she is on the electoral roll.
In Japan, the 2010 Election Boycott Committee has held a protest march in Ebitsu Park, Tokyo.
In Rakhine State, “NO Campaign” posters were posted in several townships, which read,
“Boycott 2008 Constitution and 2010 Election: NO 2010″. One of the people who participated in this campaign said to Arakhan Review:
For Boycott Election Campaign, we have posted around 1000 posters in 12 villages of Taung Kote and Ma Ei Townships one month before the Nov 7 election. We have gone down to these villages so that everyone in these villages can participate in this campaign against the government's election. We have to do this campaign together in both townships of Taung Kote and Ma Ei because these two townships together make up one constituency. Another thing is Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) and National Unity Party (NUP) will be the only two parties running in this constituency, so we don't need to feel bad towards other parties by this boycotting. We totally opposed the 2008 Constitution, so we cannot accept this 2010 Elections which will legalize this constitution.
In the November 7 elections, about 498 seats in the lower house of Parliament (Pyi Thu Hlut Taw), 224 seats in the upper house (Amyo Thar Hlut Taw) will be contested including the other seats in the States and Divisional Legislatures. Around 25 percnt of these seats will be reserved for defense service personnel.