Myanmar examining election issues

April 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM
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NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, April 29 (UPI) -- The political system in Myanmar suffers from weaknesses in voter registration and voter awareness issues, a top elections official said.

U Tin Aye, chairman of the Union Election Commission of Myanmar, said the government is reviewing laws ahead of general elections in 2015. Elections officials say there are weaknesses in voter registration and voter awareness. There are also wide discrepancies in the funds for various political parties, China's official Xinhua news agency reports.

General elections in 2010 were heralded as a democratic breakthrough for a country run formerly by a military council. Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest that year and secured a seat on Myanmar's Parliament in 2012 elections.

The U.S. and European governments have eased sanctions on Myanmar in response to political reforms. Human rights groups expressed concern, however, saying it was those sanctions that have encouraged reforms.

Myanmar officials attending a rights ceremony hosted by the International Crisis Group suggested election laws would be amended to allow Suu Kyi to run for president. Party officials later told Thai newspaper The Irrawaddy there were no such plans, however.

Suu Kyi is ineligible to run for president because she has children with a foreign national. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her pro-democracy campaign.

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