Myanmar Election: All Muslim candidates disqualified

2015-09-20 12:02:13 | Al Muslim News
Myanmar Election: All Muslim candidates disqualified
Spokesman says almost every Muslim candidate now reported disqualified, which could undermine confidence in November elections

 

The disqualification of almost 100 candidates - including many Muslims - from Myanmar’s upcoming election could undermine confidence in the poll among the country’s electorate and the international community, the U.S. State Department has said.

Spokesman John Kirby cited reports saying that almost every Muslim who had applied to run in the Nov. 8 poll has been disqualified on citizenship grounds, saying “the relevant authorities have yet to provide the specific reasons for which they did not meet these criteria”, Anadolu Agency reported.

The ballot is being billed as the freest for decades despite criticism that Muslims in the Buddhist-majority country are being excluded.

Aye Lwin, chief convenor of the Islamic Centre of Myanmar, told Anadolu Agency on Friday that the election commission was “not applying the law” when scrutinising Muslim candidates. 

“What criteria are they using?” he asked.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, a maligned minority living primarily in western Rakhine state, lost their voting rights earlier this year when the government withdrew temporary citizenship documents in response to protests by nationalist Buddhists.

“These elections are vitally important for Burma’s people and its future,” said Kirby, using Myanmar’s alternative name.

“However, there are concerns about the constitutional provision that reserves 25 percent of parliamentary seats for the military and the disenfranchisement of temporary registration certificate holders.”

He added: “The move to disqualify some 100 candidates, through an opaque and discriminatory process, risks undermining the confidence of the Burmese people and the international community in these elections.”

Myanmar began emerging from almost five decades of military dictatorship in 2011, when President Thein Sein’s semi-civilian government came to power.

The President used a video message published on Facebook this week to flaunt his support of anti-Muslim policies, including the recent passing of four laws on race and religion drafted by lawyers working for ultra-nationalist monks. 

November's poll will be the first to be contested by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) since it won the 1990 election.

That election was later annulled after the military refused to recognize the results.

The NLD, led by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, boycotted the discredited 2010 poll that brought the current regime to power.

Despite its democratic credentials, the opposition party failed to field a single Muslim candidate for this year’s poll, prompting accusations from its own Muslim members that it is pandering to Buddhist extremists.

 

.

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

Finance minister and PM's son to be appear before joint investigation team today.

ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family's business dealings abroad has summoned finance minister Ishaq Dar to appe... More

Pakistan blast victims end sit-in as demands met

Islamabad, Pakistan - Thousands of protesters in the northwestern Pakistani city of Parachinar have ended a week-long sit-in following twin blasts tha... More

Large gathering to pray in collective funeral, held for Bahawalpur oil tanker fire victims

BAHAWALPUR: Collective funeral prayers for the victims of Bahawalpur oil tanker fire was held in Ramzan Joiya village, Ahmedpur East, here on Tuesday ... More

At least 123 killed in tanker fire near Bahawalpur

At least 123 people have been burnt alive and dozens of others injured after an oil tanker caught fire and exploded near Bahawalpur in Pakistan's ... More

Qatar denied all dictations from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar has dismissed a list of demands submitted by four Arab nations as neither reasonable or actionable.   This list of demands confirms w... More

Twin blasts kill dozens in Parachinar market

At least 26 people have been killed and 75 others wounded when twin explosions ripped through a crowded market in northwest Pakistan, according to off... More

Afghanistan suicide bomb kills at least 34

At least 34 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Thursday. The bombing targeted Afghan troops ... More

India arrests 15 for celebrating Pakistan`s Champions Trophy victory

NEW DELHI: Indian police have in remission fifteen Muslims and filed offence charges against them for celebrating Pakistan’s triumph against Ind... More

Younis becomes first Pakistani to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket

KARACHI: Seldom have we waited for a sporting milestone with such eagerness, and anxiety, as we did for master batsman Younis Khan to complete 10,000 ... More

30