Election 2020

Myanmar Military Political Allies Allege Electoral Fraud in Sagaing

By Thazin Hlaing 11 November 2020

Yangon — The military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has called for a vote recount in Sagaing Region’s Mingin Township, according to the township election sub-commission.

Chairman of the election sub-commission U Tin Win told The Irrawaddy: “We have accepted the complaint and put it forward to the district election sub-commission. The USDP candidates did not specify polling stations, they only said they think there were irregularities with advance votes in some polling stations.”

He said the USDP’s Lower House candidate, U Maung Myint, who is the current lawmaker for Mingin, and two candidates for the regional parliament have filed complaints with the sub-commission.

In the 2015 general election, the USDP won the Lower House seat and one of the two seats in the regional parliament representing Mingin, but it lost all the seats to the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the Nov. 8 election.

The NLD won because there was fraud in compiling voting lists and vote counting, said Dr. San Win of the USDP, who failed in his re-election bid in Mingin in the Sagaing parliament.

“Various restrictions were imposed to bar USDP voters from the voter lists. And NLD voters were included even if they were ineligible. In collecting early votes, [the election body] overstepped laws and made NLD votes valid. Laws were strictly applied to make USDP votes invalid,” said Dr. San Win.

U Tin Win said the results were accurate. “The votes were counted in front of the people and party representatives. And ballots were shown to them. Even if the ballots are re-checked thoroughly, the results wouldn’t change,” he said.

USDP chairman U Than Htay said on Tuesday that the electoral process faces many questions and asked people to report electoral violations to the party.

“We will keep trying to make sure the election was free and legal. We will keep working to achieve the results people want,” he said.

There were 133 polling stations in Mingin with over 80,000 voters, according to the Sagaing sub-commission. The NLD, the USDP, the National Unity Party and the Union Betterment Party contested in Mingin.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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