Parliamentary by-elections on April 1 – Statement by Mr. Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Romain Nadal, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ deputy spokesman (Paris, 2nd April 2012)
Yesterday was a historic day for the Burmese people and represents a milestone for the return of democracy in Burma.
Pending official results, France welcomes the conditions in which the elections—characterized by strong, free voter participation—took place.
During my visit to Burma in January, I had the opportunity to assess the expectations of the Burmese people and their attachment to Aung San Suu Kyi, who embodies their fight for freedom.
Initial results point to the election of Aung San Suu Kyi and National League for Democracy candidates. France is pleased that this opposition party will finally be allowed to have a voice in Parliament as part of the transition process currently under way.
This is a new phase in the process under way. The road to reform and national reconciliation will be a long one. The issue of prisoners must still be resolved through dialogue between the government and the opposition, with a view to the release of all detainees. We also hope to see a swift end to ongoing conflicts between the army and ethnic minorities, particularly in Kachin State, where fighting continues and the humanitarian situation is troubling, in order to achieve a long-term political solution acceptable to all parties. General elections must be held because it is they that will mark the full return of sovereignty to the people.
The European Union must re-examine its joint position by the end of April. It will not fail to consider all the changes in the situation since last year, and notably the way in which Sunday’s elections unfolded.