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US concerned about Muslims barred from Myanmar elections

11th Nov 2015
US concerned about Muslims barred from Myanmar elections

WASHINGTON (AA): A U.S. official on Tuesday expressed concerns about Myanmar polls where hundreds of thousands of Muslims were barred from voting and running in the elections.

“We have raised our concerns about the removal of voting rights from individuals previously afforded the right to vote, regardless of religion or ethnicity,” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

He said that Washington would continue to urge Myanmar’s government to address discrimination against Rohingya Muslims.

With official result still to be announced, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy claims to have won 70 percent of votes that have been counted.

At midday Tuesday, NDL had taken 78 of the 88 declared seats in the lower house, while the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won just five.

Suu Kyi , a Nobel Peace laureate who spent 15 years under house arrest for opposing the former junta, failed to allow a single Muslim candidate from the NDLto run, out of fear of ultra-nationalists, according to one party official.

Dozens of Muslim candidates were excluded by the election commission on dubious citizenship grounds, and hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were unable to vote Sunday because the government bowed to calls from ultra-nationalists to exclude them.

More than 1.3 million Muslims live in Myanmar.

Author: Kasım İleri

[Photo: Myanmar‘s National League for Democracy Party’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, speaks at a press conference organized at her residence in Myanmar‘s capital ahead of the general elections which will take place on the 8th of November, 2015. Photographer: Alexandra Radu/AA]

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