Is Myanmar Optimism for Democracy Overdone?

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In short, yes. The risk is greater that Aung San Suu Kyi will become co-opted by the ruling regime in efforts to present a good face outwards while continuing its effective absolute rule within Myanmar and continue repression of minorities in particular


Aung Sun Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy Party have won overwhelmingly in Parliamentary by-elections. This though represented only around 5% of total Seats Parliament. Further, the Myanmar Constitution reserves an ongoing dominant role in governing for the ruling military junta. They may even coerce Suu Kyi to become a member of Myanmar’s Government, but again this will serve the ruling junta’s goal of removing international sanctions while reducing the opposition’s capacity for political maneuver – you are either in opposition or in government, but you cannot be both.



The other ongoing deficiencies in “Myanmar’s Spring” reflect that in some Arab Spring changes.


--- Democratic voting does not translate to free or open society and tolerance of dissent. To the contrary, elections can be employed as pretext to deploy a legitimized autocracy upon the political system. See Iran or even some unfortunate trends in Egypt. Democracy without open/free society is transient or fig-leaf for autocracy or both.


--- The minorities in Myanmar have suffered both official discrimination and ostracizing. The Rohingya are only perhaps best example of peoples not even recognized as citizens and thus eligible for “benefits” as education to employment in government civil service. See our Blog for Film - "Regime Divides Opposition & Minorities?"


By Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey – Follow @MuhamedSacirbey

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UN Photo - UN Special Adviser for Myanmar Meets Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon Vijay Nambiar, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Myanmar, is shown during a meeting with the Nobel Prize-winning political activist, Aung San Suu Kyi, at her residence in Yangon. February 16, 2012  - Yangon, Myanmar

About the author


"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect ( provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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