Burma election: in pictures

Voting has begun in the country’s first election in 20 years. It is widely expected to be a sham.

Above: Buddhist monks walk near a polling station in the capital, Rangoon. There have already been reports of intimidation. This is the first election since 1990, when pro-democracy candidates won by a landslide in a result that was ignored by the military junta.


A woman checks names on voters' lists displayed outside a polling station at Inle Lake, north-eastern Shan State, 6 November.


Two men ride a tricycle past a campaign poster for the junta's Union Solidarity and Development Party.


Scrutinising a party chart. Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy, is still under house arrest.


People cast their vote at a polling station in Rangoon. The internet has barely been functioning in the city for weeks; it is thought that the junta orchestrated failures to prevent information-sharing.


Burmese exiles and supporters protest outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, shouting anti-junta slogans, 5 November.


Political activists dressed as Burmese soldiers guard a mock-ballot box outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, 5 November. There is tight security at polling booths across the country.

All photographs: AFP/Getty Images.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

Getty Images.
Show Hide image

PMQs review: Theresa May shows again that Brexit means hard Brexit

The Prime Minister's promise of "an end to free movement" is incompatible with single market membership. 

Theresa May, it is commonly said, has told us nothing about Brexit. At today's PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn ran with this line, demanding that May offer "some clarity". In response, as she has before, May stated what has become her defining aim: "an end to free movement". This vow makes a "hard Brexit" (or "chaotic Brexit" as Corbyn called it) all but inevitable. The EU regards the "four freedoms" (goods, capital, services and people) as indivisible and will not grant the UK an exemption. The risk of empowering eurosceptics elsewhere is too great. Only at the cost of leaving the single market will the UK regain control of immigration.

May sought to open up a dividing line by declaring that "the Labour Party wants to continue with free movement" (it has refused to rule out its continuation). "I want to deliver on the will of the British people, he is trying to frustrate the British people," she said. The problem is determining what the people's will is. Though polls show voters want control of free movement, they also show they want to maintain single market membership. It is not only Boris Johnson who is pro-having cake and pro-eating it. 

Corbyn later revealed that he had been "consulting the great philosophers" as to the meaning of Brexit (a possible explanation for the non-mention of Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith's resignation and May's Goldman Sachs speech). "All I can come up with is Baldrick, who says our cunning plan is to have no plan," he quipped. Without missing a beat, May replied: "I'm interested that [he] chose Baldrick, of course the actor playing Baldrick was a member of the Labour Party, as I recall." (Tony Robinson, a Corbyn critic ("crap leader"), later tweeted that he still is one). "We're going to deliver the best possible deal in goods and services and we're going to deliver an end to free movement," May continued. The problem for her is that the latter aim means that the "best possible deal" may be a long way from the best. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.