News / Asia

Analysts See Burma Military 'Juggernaut' Heading to Elections in November

Analysts say Burma's recent military reorganization and political moves are aimed at ensuring the country's armed forces retain power after November 7 elections. Analysts say Burma's military is fashioning its power base along similar lines to Indonesia under former President Suharto in the 1960s.

Burma's latest military reorganization, involving more than 70 senior officers, is the second major move of members of the ruling military government this year.

On April 27, several senior officials including the prime minister, General Thein Sein, retired from the military and were expected to join the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Defense analyst Carl Thayer, from the University of New South Wales, says the moves are part of a wider strategy by Burma's armed forces to consolidate power before the November 7 election.

"The second major military reshuffle has been taken up," he said. "They are going to join the Union Solidarity and Development Party and contest the elections, and that USDP has been merged with the Union Solidarity and Development Association of 27 million odd civil servants. So that a juggernaut has been created, and with the election restrictions also announced this month it will steam roll in and win the elections."

After the vote, a newly elected 440-member House of Representatives will have 110 military representatives along with 330 elected civilians. In the 224-seat House of Nationalities, 168 will be elected and 56 held by the armed forces.

More than 40 parties are participating in the election. But the leading opposition party, the National League for Democracy led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is boycotting the election to protest regulations that bar her and other key followers from participating.

Thayer believes military government leader General Than Shwe is likely to be appointed president after the elections.

Thayer also says Burma's military appears to be modeling Indonesia's 'New Order' under former president Suharto in the 1960s.

President Suharto ensured the military had a central role in the government and control of political and societal organizations. The new order also oversaw effective repression of opponents.

Analysts say Indonesia's 'new order' was eventually undermined by nepotism, corruption and collusion that led to a loss of support for Suharto.

A spokeswoman for the rights-group Alternative ASEAN Network, Debbie Stothardt, says human-rights groups and many countries in the international community have dismissed the election as a sham. Stothardt says the vote is aimed at giving the military domestic legitimacy.

"It is important to realize that the regime is not just seeking international legitimacy, it is increasingly obvious that this election is being organized for the regime to gain some domestic legitimacy," she said. "In their own minds they want to show that their military leaders have been elected to lead government."

Burma's military has long said it needs to dominate the political landscape due to separatist movements in the country. But several governments, including the United States, have imposed sanctions on Burma due to human-rights abuses and political repression.

Recently, the United States lent its support to a probe into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by Burma's military in recent decades.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid