Australia welcomes Burmese invitation to monitor elections

Media release

23 March 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia has accepted an invitation from the Burmese Government to send an official five-person delegation to observe Burma’s parliamentary by-elections on April 1, 2012.

Senator Bob Carr welcomed this development as a further positive sign of reform in Burma.

“We have repeatedly encouraged the Burmese Government to ensure these by-elections are free and fair – and this is an encouraging start,” Senator Carr said.

Senator Carr noted that Burma's acceptance of the international community's call for independent election observers sets a good precedent.

“Australia hopes to see further and more comprehensive election observation missions as Burma's democracy matures.

“There has been major progress in Burma over recent times.

“We have witnessed remarkable change in Burma over the past several months.

“The successful conduct of these by-elections would represent another important step in Burma's democratic transition," Senator Carr said.

The Burmese Government has invited observers from the United Nations, ASEAN nations and its dialogue partners, which include Australia, the European Union, the United States, Japan, India and others.

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