Newsflash: Burma’s Junta Winning Rigged Elections

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The results of Burma’s first elections in 20 years are coming in, and you may be shocked to hear that the military dictatorship is winning. As there were crazy amounts of cheating before the elections, so it was during yesterday’s polls as well, from ballot stuffing to straight-up forcing people to vote the right way. Obama has already called BS on the results. There are wide reports that Burmese citizens are also, as they’ve been since the announcement of the process, unhappy with it, but so far, there haven’t been any protests. 

But there has been the breakout of a great big fight between two ethnic militias and government soldiers on the Thailand-Burma border. Thousands of Burmese have fled to Thailand to escape the violence, which apparently erupted over the militias’ dissatisfaction with the junta’s plan to force ethnic soldiers into the Burma army in the new “democracy.” The militias have captured several government buildings and government soldiers in the city of Myawaddy, and at least 30 people have been killed. Civilians are hoping that more ethnic militias don’t join the fray and further broaden the conflict.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest