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Title: The 2020 Myanmar election and the 2021 coup: Deepening democracy or widening division?
Authors: Kipgen, Nehginpao
Keywords: Democracy
Electoral fraud
Myanmar Burma coup
Issue Date: 22-Feb-2021
Publisher: Asian Affairs, Taylor & Francis, UK
Citation: Kipgen, N. (2021). The 2020 Myanmar election and the 2021 coup: Deepening democracy or widening division?. Asian Affairs (In press), DOI:
Abstract: In the 2020 general election, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 920 of the total 1,117 seats, which was upped by 61 seats from its win in the 2015 election. The main opposition party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), won 71 seats, down 46 from the 2015 election when it won 117 seats. The election result gave a strong mandate to the NLD for another five years. On the other hand, the USDP accused the NLD of engaging in electoral fraud including the buying of votes, and called for fresh elections in coordination with the military. Following a complaint from its proxy party, the USDP, the military initially said it would conduct an investigation in 218 townships where the military personnel and their family members cast their votes, which it expanded to 314 townships in all states and regions across the country; this finally led to the declaration of a state of emergency rule (the military coup) on 1 February 2021. Ethnic parties also alleged that the NLD government made certain pre-poll decisions that disadvantaged the ethnic minorities. This paper analyzes the electoral process and its outcome in an attempt to understand whether the election led to the deepening of democracy or the widening of division in the country's democratization process.
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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