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Concerns About Burma's Candidate Disqualifications

Press Statement
John Kirby 
Washington, DC

September 17, 2015

The United States is concerned about the disqualification of approximately 100 candidates for Burma’s upcoming general election, with over half of the cases rejected based on questions of citizenship. 

We are aware of reports that almost all Muslim candidates have been disqualified -- including some current members of parliament -- yet the relevant authorities have yet to provide the specific reasons for which they did not meet these criteria. 

These elections are vitally important for Burma’s people and its future. However, there are concerns about the constitutional provision that reserves 25 percent of parliamentary seats for the military and the disenfranchisement of temporary registration certificate holders. The move to disqualify some 100 candidates, through an opaque and discriminatory process, risks undermining the confidence of the Burmese people and the international community in these elections. 

We urge the Burmese authorities to redouble their efforts to address these concerns and ensure that the upcoming elections constitute a step forward for the country.

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