RANGOON — Nyan Win, the National League for Democracy’s spokesperson, was sentenced to a US$1 fine or one month imprisonment on Thursday for publicly alleging that vote cheating occurred during last year’s by-elections.
A Naypyidaw Court sentenced the 70-year-old Nyan Win over his claims, which he made last year shortly after the April 2012 elections. Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD party won most of the available seats during the voting.
“The judges said Nyan Win is guilty as his claims defamed the dignity of the free and fair election,” said Sandar Min, a NLD parliamentarian. “They said the sentence is only this heavy as the judges sympathized with him due to his old age. He already paid the 1,000 kyat [$1] fine to the court.”
Following the elections, Nyan Win said the party had received evidence showing that a thin layer of wax had been placed on some of the voting ballots, so that vote marks for a political party could be removed afterward and replaced.
The NLD submitted a complaint to Burma’s Election Commission, but it rejected the complaint as it found no evidence to suggest that the ballots had been tampered with.
When Nyan Win refused to withdraw his claims, the commission filed a lawsuit against him, saying he spread false and misleading information that disturbed the work of the commission and defamed the dignity of the state.
Although Nyan Win paid the fine, the NLD is preparing to submit an appeal and present their report about ballot tampering in court.
“Actually we did not present the wrong information. These are complaints from citizens, so that’s what we reported,” said Sandar Min. “Maybe the Election Commission used low-quality papers that had wax on them. Since we did not make up this problem without evidence, we will submit an appeal to the higher courts.”