Viral Elections

Couverture Asie du Sud-Est 2021Aurore CANDIER

Two events shaped 2020 in Burma/Myanmar: the Covid-19 pandemic and the general elections, won by the National League for Democracy. During the first wave of the pandemic (March-June), there were less than 300 infections nationwide, but the restrictions implemented then (curfew, stayhome, shutdown of borders, airports and schools) continued until the end of the year. They affected all economic, political and social areas. The elections were also impacted by the constitutional reform failure (March), the outcomes of the peace process conference (August), the growing influence of ethnic parties, and the role of the political opposition. The media and civil society groups kept a watch on any sign of military propaganda. Mandalay Region and Kayah State governments became more autonomous. Public opinion denounced environmental threats. While the Chinese temporarily distanced themselves from Burmese diplomacy, the US proposed new investments, and the Japanese reinforced their economic support and soft diplomacy strategies.

Keywords: Burma/Myanmar, 2020, elections, Covid-19 pandemic, International Relations.