Elections in burma

  • Assembly of the Union
  • (House of Nationalities and
    House of Representatives)
  • Political parties
  • Supreme Court
    Chief Justice: Tun Tun Oo
  • Constitutional Tribunal
    Chairman: Mya Thein

General elections

Related topics

Elections in Burma are a rarity. Until 2011 Burma was led by a military junta known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) which banned opposition parties. Recent developments have seen a general election in 2010 and by-elections in 2012 which were contested by some opposition parties.

Prior to the military take over, multi-party elections were held in 1951–1952, 1956 and 1960.


When Ne Win's one party rule system – the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) – collapsed in August 1988 following the 8888 Uprising, the military staged another coup d'etat the following September, stating that they were going to hold "free and fair" elections in 1990. The first elections to the lower house (the Pyithu Hluttaw or "People's Assembly") under the new military administration, renamed the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), were held on 27 May 1990. The major opposition party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide victory with a majority of 392 out of the 492 seats; thus, under a parliamentary system, the NLD would form a new government. However, the SLORC refused to acknowledge the results, and as a result the People's Assembly never convened. To date they it is still the only general election in which the NLD has been free to participate.

The military junta placed the leader of the NLD, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, under house arrest following her party's victory. The SLORC was abolished in November 1997 and replaced by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), but this was merely a cosmetic change. In August 2003, Prime Minister Khin Nyunt announced a seven-step "roadmap to democracy", which the government claimed it was in the process of implementing. There was no timetable associated with the government’s plan, or any conditionality or independent mechanism for verifying that it is moving forward, so it was greeted skeptically by observers.

On 7 February 2008, SPDC announced that a referendum for the new Constitution would be held, and elections by 2010. The constitutional referendum was held on May 10. Following this the first general election in 20 years was held in 2010, completing the fifth step of the roadmap to democracy, though the NLD was excluded from participating in it as the Election Commission declared them "null and void" in accordance with election laws.[1] The NLD, were however, allowed to participate in the 2012 by-elections that followed, and Suu Kyi - released from house arrest in 2010 - won a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw.

The next Burmese general election is scheduled to be held in 2015.[2]

2010 campaign

In 2010, the announcement of possible elections sponsored by the current regime attracted international attention. The Union Election Commission stated that these would be "free and fair without third party watchdogs".

Latest election

Results for the Amyotha Hluttaw

168 of the 224 seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw (House of Nationalities) were up for election. The remaining 56 seats (25%) were not elected, and instead reserved for military appointees (taken from Defense Services personnel), technically called Army Representatives (AR).

Amyotha Hluttaw elections, 2010
Party Seats Net Gain/Loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  USDP 129 57.59
  Appointed 56 +56 25.00 - - +56
style="background-color: ; width: 3px;" |   7 3.13 263,678
  NUP 5 2.23 4,302,082
  NDF 4 1.79 1,488,543
style="background-color: ; width: 3px;" |   4 1.79 86,211
style="background-color: ; width: 3px;" |   4 1.79 172,806
  3 1.33 496,039
style="background-color: ; width: 3px;" |   3 1.33 77,825
style="background-color: ; width: 3px;" |   2 0.89 37,450
  Others 7 3.13
Total 224 100