Crowley and Chabot: Burma’s Elections Make Clear There is a “Profound Desire for Change”
(Queens, NY and Cincinnati, OH) – Today, Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), leaders in the House on Burma, released the statement below on the recent elections to choose 75% of the country’s parliament as well as other positions:
“We congratulate the people of Burma on their elections over the weekend. By all accounts, for those who were able to vote, it was very meaningful, and we were deeply moved by the sincerity with which people cast their ballots after decades of repression. We also congratulate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy for their overall victory, as well as other parties for their participation in the elections.
“Despite the serious problems in the underlying electoral structure, the results indicate profound desire for change. We hope that the ability to provide that change is not hampered by impediments in the military-era drafted constitution, the military’s control over key ministries that exert control over much of the government, and the 25% of the seats in parliament automatically designated for sitting members of the military. We also remain concerned about a number of very serious human rights issues.
“We continue to believe that progress on ties between the United States and Burma should be contingent on change with respect to core human rights and democracy concerns. There is still much work to be done and we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”