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Flawed 2010 election should not be repeated: Quintana

(Mizzima) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights  in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, said on Friday, “This is a crucial moment in Myanmar’s history.”
Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. envoy to Burma, left, with Lower House Speaker Shwe Mahn in Naypyitaw. Photo: Mizzima
Recalling his latest report to the Human Rights Council, Quintana said: “I have consistently stressed that the next round of elections should be truly free, fair, inclusive and transparent, but the credibility of Sunday’s vote will not be determined solely on the day, but in the lead-up to and following election day.”

In a statement, he said the recent wave of democratic reforms in the country has had a positive impact on the situation of human rights, including the release of a significant number of prisoners of conscience and the re-registration of a number of political parties. 

However, noting concerns about reported electoral irregularities, he called on the authorities to show a clear political will to achieve a peaceful and professionally administered electoral process in order to establish public confidence and legitimacy for its democratic transition.

He also urged the government to ensure respect for freedom of expression, opinion, assembly and association.

“The flawed electoral process of the 2010 national elections, which failed to meet international standards, was a missed opportunity for Myanmar to address its challenges in democratization. It should not be repeated as Myanmar enters a new and more open era,” he said.

In early February, summarizing his last trip to Burma, Quintana said in a press conference the newly elected government has surprised the international community with “the speed and breadth of reforms,” and now was the time to continue the process to achieve national reconciliation.

“My mission confirmed that a positive impact has been made,” Quintana said. “However, serious challenges remain and must be addressed. There is also a risk of backtracking on the progress achieved thus far.”
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 March 2012 19:24 )  

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