RENGO Statements and Views
Statement on the Myanmar General Elections
10 November 2015
Naoto Ohmi, General Secretary
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO)
- General elections were held in Myanmar on November 8, 2015. The country’s Union Election Commission announced that of the 54 voting districts, 49 parliamentary seats were won by the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The strength of the NLD’s victory was revealed as the ballots were tallied. The party won the majority of re-election seats. Representatives of the ruling party have conceded defeat. JTUC-RENGO wishes to welcome and express our respect for the steady progress of democratization in Myanmar, as shown by this democratic election.
- The NLD also overwhelmingly won the 1990 general elections in Myanmar. However, the military junta at the time ignored the results and suppressed the democratization movement. It was a distressing period in the country’s history, with leaders of trade unions forced into exile. In 2011, the government transitioned to civilian rule, and trade unions began their domestic activities again. Myanmar’s democratization movement is steadily moving forward. Milestones include the government’s recognition of the registration of the Confederation of Trade Unions in Myanmar (CTUM) on July 17, 2015.
- JTUC-RENGO has been supporting Myanmar’s democratization and democratic labor movement by collaborating with ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) and ITUC-AP (ITUC-Asia Pacific). In 2001, we established the “Burma Japan Office” to provide support to Burmese democracy organizations in Japan. The office closed in March 2014. However, JTUC-RENGO is continuing to support the Myanma labor movement on the ground through the ITUC Myanmar office.
- The democratization of Myanmar still faces many issues, such as the establishment of labor laws. JTUC-RENGO will continue to monitor post-election developments to ensure that the election results are settled as quickly as possible by fair procedures. At the same time, we will also pay close attention to and support the democratization of Myanmar and the development of a democratic labor movement in the country.