Switzerland regrets the conditions in which the elections in Myanmar were held

Bern, Press release, 08.11.2010

The Swiss Government regrets that the multi-party elections on 7 November 2010 in Myanmar took place in an environment in which the freedoms of expression and association as well as the freedom of the press were massively restricted.

On 7 November 2010, the military government in Myanmar allowed elections to be held for the first time in 20 years for the members of the two-chamber parliament and the 14 provincial governments. 37 political parties and 82 independent candidates took part. In the run-up to the election, the Swiss Government expressed its concern to the Myanmar Government about the undemocratic and unfair nature of the electoral process. The very extensive constraints placed on the selection of candidates and the heavy restrictions imposed on the freedoms of association and expression left no room for a fair election campaign. The results of the election have to be viewed on this basis.

Switzerland appeals to the Myanmar Government to see to it that with these multi-party elections a process based on the rule of law and respect for human rights be initiated that will progressively develop into a democratic form of government that includes all political parties and groups. It urges the Myanmar Government to release all political prisoners immediately, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and to initiate an open and serious dialogue with all political parties and ethnic groups.


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