It’s vital to amend Myanmar’s citizenship laws: UK


Desk report, Nov 10: The United Kingdom has sought an amendment to Myanmar’s citizenship laws to allow everyone to fully participate in Myanmar’s political process.

“It’s now vital to amend the citizenship laws to ensure that everyone can participate fully in Myanmar’s political process,” said Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Minister for Asia Nigel Adams.

The UK minister urged the authorities in Myanmar to make sure free and fair elections are held at the earliest opportunity in those areas where they were cancelled.

“We also condemn the kidnapping of parliamentary candidates by the Arakan Army and call for their immediate release,” said Adams.

He said the 2020 elections are a “significant milestone” on Myanmar’s path from military dictatorship to democracy.

“However, we were disappointed to see the Rohingya and other minorities were once again disenfranchised,” Adams said in a statement adding that elections were cancelled in areas of conflict without a clear rationale or transparency.

The UK minister said they are pleased that many people in Myanmar were able to exercise their hard won right to vote this weekend and remain committed to supporting their aspirations for peace and full democracy.

“We’ll work with the new government and civil society to this end,” he said.

Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy claimed Monday it had won a clear parliamentary majority and would retain power, even though the state election body has named just a few of the winners in Sunday’s elections, reports AP.

The Union Election Commission earlier said full results may take a week. By 8 p.m., it had announced the winners of just nine of Parliament’s 642 seats, all nine NLD candidates.

An NLD spokesperson, Monywa Aung Shin, said the party had confirmed it won more than 322 seats — a majority — but the final outcome “would be likely more than” the party’s goal of 377 seats.