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. 

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. Carnegie’s Vikram Nehru moderated.

This event was part of Carnegie’s “Myanmar Votes 2015” project which is being co-sponsored by the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Southeast Asian Studies Department of the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. 

Priscilla Clapp

Priscilla Clapp is senior adviser to the U.S. Institute for Peace. A recognized expert on Myanmar, she served as U.S. chargé d’affaires in Yangon from 1999 to 2002. 

Scot Marciel

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

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

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.