Political Twist: A Combined Electoral System in Myanmar

Last week, in a surprising twist to the ongoing debate over the potential switch to a national PR system, Myanmar’s Upper House approved the change to a nationwide PR system. The implication of this vote is that Myanmar will have two different voting systems in the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament during the 2015 elections, the first general elections since the unfair and unfree election of 2010, which led to the development of the new democracy in Myanmar. Elections under a combined electoral system have taken place in other democracies such as Japan, Germany, and Mexico, but certainly not in such a nascent democracy as Myanmar.

A national switch from a majoritarian FPTP system to a PR system has been a hot topic for debate in Myanmar for the last few months, and would greatly influence the future of electoral politics in Myanmar, and especially the political participation of underrepresented ethnic minorities within the country. In the current FPTP system, whoever wins the majority of votes for a constituency wins the seat to represent the entire constituency in parliament. In a PR system, the number of parliament seats won by each party is proportionate to the number of votes each party receives. - See more at: http://www.indopacificreview.com/political-twist-combined-electoral-system-myanmar/#sthash.kI3plDyr.fvE8zYOW.dpuf