RANGOON — Burma’s police force has its work cut out in the coming weeks as election-related disputes pour in. A police official in Naypyidaw said a total of 422 cases has been filed to date, with more expected before the 45-day complaint window lapses in late December.
Shwe Thaung, deputy police colonel for the Department of Crime in the capital, told The Irrawaddy that the complaints ranged from obstructing campaigns to incidents of harassment, seeking recourse against numerous parties and individuals.
The region with the highest incident of reported election violations was Irrawaddy Division, where 82 cases had been filed, the official said. Rangoon came in as a close second with 66.
A number of cases related to preventing political parties from securing permits for campaign venues. Also included were several cases of harassment, unethical canvassing and other violations of the election campaign code of conduct. Complaints directed at individuals numbered only 16, he added.
Among those directed at individuals, Shwe Thaung confirmed, was a complaint filed against Rangoon regional Chief Minister Myint Swe by the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the lion’s share of seats on Nov. 8.
The NLD alleged that the minister promised electricity to residents of Hlegu Township in the event of a win for the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Election laws prohibit government staff from supporting partisan campaigns.
Another case involved an NLD candidate, Aye Mya Mya Myo, who was accused of disrupting the campaign of USDP member and Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Ohn Myint. Aye Mya Mya Myo recently denied the allegation on Facebook.
In the first week of November, just before the poll, NLD chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi announced during a rally in Rangoon’s Thingangyun Township that the party had already submitted more than 100 complaints of alleged election law violations, including one case of violent assault against candidate Naing Ngan Lin.
Election complaints can be filed up to 45 days after the poll. Depending on the offense, complaints can be submitted to police or election sub-commission authorities.
State media announced on Tuesday that the Union Election Commission will establish state and divisional tribunals to ensure a smooth and transparent adjudication process.