The militay junta of Myamar which enjoys complete control of the nation has announced there will be a general election in 2010 as well as an oppourtunity to vote for a new constitution. Ordinarily, on the road to an election, there are competing parties which offer their ideas and candidates, but that is not exactly what will happen in Burma. As Australia’s Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, noted about the election: “We’re frankly very skeptical, we’re not persuaded this is anything more than a cynical sham.” Japan has tried hard to engage leaders of the military junta which runs the country, and it also expressed concerns about the announcement saying while they praised the desire for an election, “however, the process does not allow participation by Aung San Suu Kyi and other (opposition) parties.”
Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party merely commented the “announcement is vague, incomplete and strange.” The junta slipped into the constitution a paragraph which bars any candidate from running for public office if the person is “entitled to the rights and privileges of a foreign country.” Her late husband was British so this disqualifies her from running. This is the road to democracy in Burma.