Burma watchers should be urged to study the election laws exceedingly carefully rather than automatically reacting with condemnation. The popular media have already asserted that the law is a “mockery of democracy”, however, only portions of the law have been released, and it is expected that Naypyidaw will continue to announce aspects of the law throughout the rest of this week.

Many news agencies are reporting that the law effectively bars Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the elections. Those wishing to analyse the relevant provisions carefully should check out Derek Tonkin’s updates from Network Myanmar, one of which is included below:

Although it is widely assumed that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is now disqualified from standing for any Assembly, or being an officer of the NLD or even a party member because of the provisions of Law No. 2/2010 which debar any person currently serving a prison sentence from so acting, we await formal confirmation of the significance of the directive dated 10 August 2009 remitting half of any sentence passed on 11 August 2009 and suspending the remainder, while requiring her to reside at her home under restriction. Whether this is tantamount to “serving a prison term” is not yet clear to us. In the 1990 Elections, restricted residence under the 1975 State Protection Law was not regarded as “serving a prison term” and Suu Kyi was not debarred on those, but on other grounds, from standing for Parliament.