Aung San Suu Kyi, 2012. Photo by Htoo Tay Zar, via Wikimedia.

In more election news, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has won Myanmar’s general election and will return for another five-year term. Though Suu Kyi’s reputation has been tarnished internationally after she defended the military against charges of genocide, she remains highly popular among the country’s Barmar majority.

In a 2014 PVG post, Luke Sanford writes that Myanmar’s electoral system is designed to exclude minority ethnic groups. It’s a problem that persists today: this year, voting was cancelled for an estimated 1.5 million voters in areas dominated by ethnic minority communities, apparently due to security concerns.

Read more of Sanford’s analysis here:


Myanmar has largely fallen off the international newsfeed despite Aung San Suu Kyi’s December 18th announcement that her party plans to boycott the 2015 elections. A flurry of reports late last year seemed to indicate that Suu Kyi would be willing to agree to a change in the country’s electoral systems in exchange for being allowed to run for president.

One of the puzzles surrounding this tug-of-war has been the relative silence from ethnic minorities in Myanmar about the possibility of an Aung San Suu Kyi presidency. Why such little enthusiasm?

I think there are at least three reasons why ethnic minorities have kept quiet.

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