EU congratulates Myanmar on successful by-election


People line up as they wait to cast their votes for by-elections at a polling station of Hlaing Thar Yar township in Yangon, Myanmar, 01 April 2017. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

The European Union (EU) has congratulated Myanmar for successfully conducting democratic by-elections last weekend.

“The by-elections held on 1 April 2017 were another important step towards consolidating a democratic tradition in Myanmar,” said a statement released on Thursday. “According to domestic and international observers, including European ones, voters were able to cast their ballots in a generally well-run and transparent process.

“We would like to congratulate the Government of Myanmar, and in particular the Union Election Commission [UEC], on successfully managing an overall credible, calm and competitive electoral process.”

The statement added that the EU will continue to support the UEC in the future.

The EU has been one of the strongest supporters and sponsors of Myanmar’s democratic transition, as well as investing financial backing in development and the ongoing peace process.

Last week’s by-elections in Myanmar were widely applauded as free and fair. The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) won nine of the 19 vacant seats, while the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won two. But the two main parties were generally eclipsed by regional parties in the ethnic states.

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