Myanmar Votes 2015: Why Myanmar's Elections Matter

Myanmar’s general elections, scheduled for early November this year, could mark a watershed in the country’s transition from military dictatorship to parliamentary democracy. The country’s voters will choose representatives for the national parliament’s upper and lower houses as well as for local assemblies in Myanmar’s fourteen regions and states.

On June 3, 2015 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., Priscilla Clapp, Scot Marciel, and David Steinberg presented their views on why these elections are so important and what we can expect in both their run-up and aftermath, in a discussion moderated by Vikram Nehru.

This event was part of the “Myanmar Votes 2015” project, which is being jointly supported by the Asia Society Policy Institute, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Southeast Asia Studies Department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


Priscilla Clapp is Senior Advisor to the Asia Society Policy Institute and Senior Adviser to the U.S. Institute of Peace. A recognized expert on Myanmar, she served as U.S. chargé d’affaires in Yangon from 1999 to 2002.

Scot Marciel is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia.

David Steinberg is Distinguished Professor of Asian studies at Georgetown University. He is a specialist on Myanmar, the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia, and U.S. policy in Asia.

Vikram Nehru is a Senior Associate in Carnegie’s Asia Program. His research focuses on the economic, political, and strategic issues confronting Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.

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