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Myanmar Election Commission pours cold water on the Army’s claims of election fraud

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Tensions are high in Myanmar with rumours swirling of a possible military coup. Some in the leadership of the Burmese military have openly circulated inflammatory statements regarding possible electoral fraud. The US embassy, along with 16 other countries including former colonial power Britain and EU countries, released a statement yesterday urging for the military “adhere to democratic norms”. They’ve expressed their concerns following November’s elections and allegations of “electoral misconduct”. The claims follow the landslide victory for the National League for Democracy with Aung San Suu Kyi as their leader.

Fears grew this week after Myanmar’s influential army chief Gen Min Aung Hlaing echo sentiments of President Win Myint after he said the country’s constitution could be “revoked” under certain circumstances.

Some powerful army officials allege there were 10 million cases of voter fraud nationwide, a claim they demand is investigated. They’ve also demanded the release of voters lists from the election commission for verification.

The the country’s election commission released a statement on Thursday defending the situation, stating that the polls were “free, fair and credible”, and had “reflected the will of the people”.

In a 6 page statement on its Facebook page, the Election Commission stated that it was investigating 287 complaints, but that on the whole, voting was conducted fairly and transparently on November 8.

“In this election, weaknesses and errors in voters lists cannot cause voting fraud.”

Myanmar is only 10 years into a period of quasi-democracy after nearly 50 years of strict military rule. But even now the government rule though the filter of a junta-authored constitution that leaves the elected civilian administration having to work through the country’s generals.

The situation is similar to Thailand where the a military junta that seized power in May 2014 re-write the country’s constitution installing a Junta-appointed Senate to oversee all matters raised through the elected lower house, following the March 2019 national election.

The tensions eased slightly yesterday when the Myanmar Supreme Court postponed considering allegations of electoral misconduct by President Win Myint and the election commission chairman Hla Thein.

President Win Myint is seen as an important ally and placeholder for State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the actual head of government in Myanmar but is constitutionally barred from the presidency.

The country’s military has been alleging widespread voter irregularities since November’s general election. Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy won the election in a landslide. It captured 396 out of 476 seats, paving the way for another 5 year term. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won only 33 of the 476 seats.

Aung San Suu Kyi is the first and incumbent State Counsellor of Myanmar, she is also the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

In a statement from the US embassy, the Ambassador expressed hopes that Myanmar’s parliament would sit, on schedule this Monday.

“We look forward to the peaceful convening of the Parliament on February 1 and the election of the president and speakers. We oppose any attempt to alter the outcome of the elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition.”

November’s polls were only the second ‘democratic’ elections Myanmar has has hosted since emerging from a draconian half century of military dictatorship.

Khin Zaw Win, a political analyst in Yangon and former political prisoner, suggested the military was signalling its intention to intervene in the country’s politics. Speaking to the South China Morning Post….

“The military’s course of action is much clearer now. As illogical as it sounds, military chief Min Aung Hlaing’s argument is meant to soften the blow of abrogating the 2008 constitution.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also raised “great concern” over Myanmar’s recent developments.

Suu Kyi has made no direct comment on the military’s polling complaints.

 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Free

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Myanmar back to square one in 3, 2, 1 …

  2. Nipral

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Military is military, be it in Myanmar or Thailand. Low IQ high ego !!!

  3. Issan John

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Rather ironic for the US to urge anyone to “adhere to democratic norms” after disputed election results given recent events, however laudable that may be.

    • Nipral

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      Despite former president, extremists and all kinds of armed and violent morons efforts to overturn recent elections,
      Biden is in office. This shows how strong the democracy and Constitution are in the US.
      I therefore see no irony at all in the US Ambassador statement.

      • Stardust

        Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 8:31 pm

        Low level identities like Issan John advertise dictatorship and history showed how they ended all.These kind of people are lowlevel in education and learning. All succesfull economies and socities in the world are democracies and are also the most developped countries in the world. With brainwashing propaganda you will not developp any country!

      • J West

        Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 11:55 am

        US elections were rigged, evidence ignored by a massive coup of local Democrats who’s been staging the uprising four years. In fact the Democratic Party called for armed insurrection 19 minutes after Trumps inauguration and has installed a puppet. The US has lost all credibility and claim to Democracy. Myanmar saw the US fraud as an excuse to do the same. Expect more autocrats and dictators to rise in the AB scenes of leadership.

    • Mister Stretch

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      I don’t think it’s ironic for the US government to urge anyone “adhere to democratic norms” following the US elections.

      The government did. Scrupulously.

    • Christian Blessing

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 4:50 am

      There is nothing ironic in the US Ambassador’s sentiments. The recent US election worked as it should. That the Republican party lost the election is not disputed; Joe Biden was elected by a popular and electoral plurality and now properly occupies the office of the presidency.

      • Brian

        Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:15 am

        Suppose you were a paid propagandist in the employ of a corrupt administration that had just accomplished the theft of the US presidency. How would your comment be different from the one you wrote?

  4. Kelvin Bamfield

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 9:00 am

    that’s rich coming from USA. maybe they used dominion software.??.

  5. Alan

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Thailand get ready for an overspill of Myanmar citizens seeking refuge.

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