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Political Transition in Myanmar (Burma)

2nd March 2012

Political Transition in Myanmar (Burma)

Sanjay Pulipaka (Pavate Visiting Fellow, Cambridge; Fellow, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata India)

After five decades of military rule, Myanmar (Burma) has been experiencing a tenuous transition towards a participatory political system. The 2010 General Election ushered in a semi-civilian government, which has initiated wide ranging political reforms. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners were released from detention and the results of recent by-elections, in spite of many deficiencies, reflected popular mandate. In the light of these developments, the presentation will reflect on:

  • Recent political developments with specific reference to the General Elections in 2010 as well as the recent by-elections in April 2012
  • Tactics that are being deployed by the military to control the transition process
  • The electoral performance of the ethnic parties and their response to recent political changes
  • The electoral performance of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and implications of NLD ’s landslide victory in the by-elections
  • The responses of the international actors to the political transition process

The presentation will highlight multiple fault-lines and conceptions of transition that beset the recent political changes in Myanmar.

Sanjay Pulipaka is currently a Pavate Visiting Fellow at University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), Kolkata, India. Sanjay is a former Fulbright Fellow and has extensive work experience in the realm of strengthening democracy at the grass-roots and in political & governance reforms. He can be reached here.