A proposal to postpone elections in Myanmar caused an outcry among democratic forces on Tuesday, and the government then issued a public reassurance that the voting would take place as scheduled on Nov. 8. The fear and confusion over a possible delay reflected the democracy movement’s underlying mistrust of the military establishment, including the bureaucracy and the government of President Thein Sein. Early on Tuesday, U Tin Aye, a former soldier who represented the governing party before taking his current post as leader of the election commission, summoned representatives of the political parties and proposed a postponement on the grounds that some areas of the country struck by flooding in July and August might not be ready to accommodate voters by the time of the election.
But analysts and members of opposition parties immediately questioned the motives behind the proposal at a time when the powerful military’s political rival, the party of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leader of Myanmar’s democracy movement, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is showing signs of strong support.
U Yan Myo Thein, a political analyst, said the proposal showed that the election commission and Mr. Thein Sein were “not sincere and trustworthy in politics.” “The ruling party and their allies fear the mounting strength of Aung San Suu Kyi,” he said. “They need more days to prepare their lines of defense and prepare new strategies and tactics for securing seats in Parliament by any means.”