Derek J. Mitchell
Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma
Rangoon, Burma
March 14, 2012

AMBASSADOR MITCHELL: One question is fine.

QUESTION: You met with the Election Commission Chairman the day before yesterday, and were you given any assurance by the government that they might allow international observers? Did they mention any way that they would address this issue of election irregularities?

AMBASSADOR MITCHELL: There was no specific assurance about international observers. They have heard from many different sources, including ASEAN and the United States, and others that it would be a good thing, a reassuring gesture of commitment, because there are organizations in the region, for instance (inaudible), that are very credible and could be reassuring to people here, that they have that kind of commitment in the region to democratic transition, but no assurances were provided by the commission.

In terms of the electoral lists, the voter lists, we didn’t discus that. It is a concern in the election that I think that Daw Suu could speak to as something domestic.

We were clear in private and we will be in public that this issue of a free and fair and transparent election is very important to us in terms of demonstrating in tangible terms commitment to democracy that they have assured us that they are on the road towards. It is one step but it is a very important step. We will be watching it very closely, and not just us, and not just the international community, but the people of this country. And that will be a very important moment for this transition.