On 1 February 2021, Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the Myanmar armed forces, seized power from the civilian government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi in a military coup. The tensions began following parliamentary elections in November where the army-backed opposition lost to the National League for Democracy headed by Ms Suu Kyi.
Prior to becoming leader of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi spent nearly 15 years in detention and was hailed as a democratic hero. However, her international reputation has been severely sullied by silence in the face of the army crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority, who are denied citizenship despite many having been in the country for three generations.
We, The European Association of political Consultants, strongly condemn the military-coup. History shows us that armed take-overs are never the solution to any political instability.
There is no doubt that any allegations of fraud in elections should be taken seriously. Free and fair elections are the foundation of a strong, well-functioning democracy. This is why a rerun of the election, overseen by international observers from the European Commission, from the United Nations, the OSCE or Offices for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. These international election observers monitor everything from candidate registration, vote casting, counting and tabulation of results, to the media situation, to ensure that the elections are as free and fair as possible. Their presence can not only discourage fraud but also give a sense of legitimacy to the final result.
It is clear that, despite the fact that elections have already been held, the best solution for Myanmar is a compromise between parties to hold fresh elections, with a promise from both sides to accept the result, whatever it may be. The European Association of Political Consultants is always willing and able to help everyone participate in free and fair elections across the world.