KUALA LUMPUR: The United States (US) has stressed that now it is not the right time to hold any elections in Myanmar to solve the ongoing political crisis, said Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, United States (US) Department of State, Melissa Brown.

The diplomat said this is because the action will only incite more violence in the junta ruled country.

Brown who is on a official visit to Malaysia on the other hand said the US will continue to support Asean in ensuring the implementation of the five-point consensus (5PCs) to resolve the political impasse in Myanmar in line with Asean Centrality.

“US has stated passionately and vocally that we don’t believe that any election in Myanmar will be free and fair (at the moment) and in fact, it could only incite more violence.

“We don’t support this sham elections and in fact quite concerned about the violence...This is not the solution we all wish,” she told a media roundtable session with Malaysian media members at the US Embassy in Malaysia here today.

Brown, a South East Asia expert with a strong trade policy background said that from US perspective, her country will boldly speak up for the need to stop violence, restore path to democracy and release those who have been unjustly detained in Myanmar.

From 2019 to 2021, Brown served as the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she led an unprecedented expansion of US engagement with Asean, as well as efforts to mobilise ASEAN to resolve the political crisis in Myanmar.

On Feb 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup, hours before the newly elected parliament was due to convene for the first time.

Prior to this, the 5PCs was welcomed by US as there was an urgency in finding ways to stop the crackdown on anti coup protesters by the Tatmadaw (military).

The 5PCs are: end the violence; hold constructive talks among all stakeholders; Asean provides humanitarian aid to Myanmar; a special Asean envoy appointed to conduct talks; and the envoy to be allowed to visit the country.

However, there has been no significant progress so far in building trust with the junta and returning Myanmar to the path of democracy through the 5PCs, despite the best efforts of Asean to convince the junta led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Meanwhile, on the impending 15th general election in Malaysia, Brown said US will continue to strengthen partnership with whichever new government formed after the election.

“Malaysian domestic politics is complex...I think what US really supports is transparent, open and inclusive democracy and that is what we know the people in Malaysia really support and deserve,” she said.-Bernama

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