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Jakarta Post

Road to democracy in SE Asia long, bleak

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 3 2012   /  08:00 am

The international world may have celebrated the emergence of democracy in Myanmar, when the country held its by-elections on April 1, and become hopeful of further changes in Southeast Asia, but democracy is not being fully implemented in the region, a meeting concluded.

The Second Meeting of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy in Jakarta on Tuesday agreed that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the umbrella organization that manages cooperation between 10 member countries in the region, had not been successful in bringing about a uniform shift toward democracy as it currently had only two member countries that could claim to be democracies: Indonesia and the Philippines.

Other members still have either monarchial or authoritarian governments with just one ruling party. Cambodia and Singapore are examples of one-party states.

In Cambodia, Prime...