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Minute on election in Myanmar

The executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, 13-18 November 2015, welcomes the peaceful election process recently concluded in Myanmar.

18 November 2015

World Council of Churches
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Bossey, Switzerland
13-18 November 2015
Doc. No. 32 rev

As adopted

The executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, 13-18 November 2015, welcomes the peaceful election process recently concluded in Myanmar.

The WCC has in previous years repeatedly expressed its grave concerns about reported widespread human rights violations, military dictatorship, and lack of free and fair elections in Myanmar – especially following the annulment of the 1990 general election.

Today, the WCC executive committee joins the churches and all people of Myanmar in celebrating an election process conducted and concluded successfully and peacefully. The election was widely acknowledged as largely free and fair, and was the first openly contested election in Myanmar in 25 years, and the country’s first national vote since the introduction of a nominally civilian government in 2011, ending nearly 50 years of direct military rule.

The executive committee recognizes the historic nature of both Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership advocating toward democracy, and current President Thein Sein’s leadership in acknowledging the democratic choice exercised by the people of Myanmar. We call upon all political leaders in Myanmar to work together for a smooth government transition, for the political, social and economic progress of the country, and for the realization of human rights for all its people.

In this regard, the executive committee notes with great regret that the Muslim Rohingya community and some other minorities in Myanmar continue to be denied recognition as citizens, and represent hundreds of thousands of people excluded from the recent democratic process, and subjected to discrimination and marginalization in Myanmar. We call on the new government to deal with this concern, and to ensure respect for the human rights of all people in Myanmar.