Myanmar’s Historic Elections: A Turning Point?

MyaElections2015Speakers: Kate Frieson (Royal Roads University), Yves Tiberghien (UBC), Larry Dohrs (Texas Christian University), Robert Hanlon (Thompson Rivers University), Kai Ostwald (UBC), Rick Barichello (UBC)

Myanmar’s national elections on November 8, 2015 — one of the first meaningful electoral contestations for political power since the country won independence from Britain in 1948 — will have countless consequences for the country’s complex political, economic and peace transitions.

Yet for all the international attention the elections have received, there is little certainty over how they will affect the country. Will they ultimately be fair and free of violence? How will the roughly 90 parties that have registered to contest the election fare? Will Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD capture enough votes to form a government? Will the ruling USDP party and its military backers respect the outcome? And most importantly, what does the election mean for everyday lives of the country’s population both at home and abroad?