The participation of tens of thousands of government medical personnel in the Civil Disobedience Movement has created gaps in healthcare that striking doctors and colleagues working at private hospitals are struggling to fill.
Despite the dangers, protesters in the Sagaing Region capital say they will keep hitting the streets – to send a strong message to the people, the junta and the world, and to honour fallen comrades.
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Polling stations in Hlaing Tharyar and other factory suburbs were in uproar as some voters found they weren’t registered and couldn’t vote, though voter lists seem to have improved from 2015.
The NLD has taken enough seats from the USDP to potentially work with ethnic parties and control the Shan State parliament, following a vote marred by complaints of foul play and the killing of an MP-elect.
After a tense race, the USDP is refusing to accept the loss of its Mandalay Region stronghold of Pyawbwe Township, which some have attributed to a demise in Buddhist nationalism.
Former Tatmadaw vice admiral U Soe Thane can take much of the credit for the USDP’s sweep of seats in the Kayah State township of Bawlakhe – one of the military-aligned party’s few wins on November 8.
The large turnout on November 8 powerfully demonstrated society’s commitment to democracy, but this should not overshadow deep flaws in the electoral process that threaten to undermine future progress.
Poor planning and communication from sub-commissions and a byzantine election bureaucracy left hundreds of quarantined and COVID-19-infected voters in Yangon Region unable to cast their ballots.
As the nation voted on November 8, the residents of Rakhine’s Mrauk-U Township had to watch from the side-lines, and many fear a lack of political representation will worsen conflict in the state.