Election 2020

Speaker Rejects Myanmar Military, Proxy Party’s Call for Special Parliament Session

By San Yamin Aung 12 January 2021

YANGON — Myanmar’s parliamentary speaker has rejected as “not relevant” a call to convene a special session to resolve electoral fraud claims made by the military and its proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

A total of 203 lawmakers, including 160 military appointees, 36 USDP lawmakers, four Arakan National Party members, two independents and one National United Democratic Party member on Monday submitted the proposal calling Speaker T Khun Myat to convene a special session on alleged electoral fraud before the new parliament convenes.

The USDP claimed the November general election, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) won another landslide, was marred by mass fraud. It faced heavy defeats, far worse than in 2015. After its proxy party cried foul over the election, a military probe alleged voter-list irregularities, saying errors could have resulted in millions of fraudulent votes.

Resolving electoral disputes is nothing to do with Parliament, said T Khun Myat in response to the calls for a special session in a statement on Tuesday.

It cited the Constitution and Union Election Commission (UEC) Law which hands full electoral oversight to the UEC.

“[Election disputes] are not resolved in Parliament as the Constitution grants the UEC the final decision,” T Khun Myat said. He added that alleged malpractices filed with election sub-commissions will be resolved by the UEC and the procedures are still taking place.

The second national legislature dominated by the NLD is due to convene on Feb. 1. According to the 2008 Constitution, the Parliament shall convene a new term within 90 days of a general election.

The NLD won 396 out of the 476 contested seats (83 percent) in the two parliamentary chambers, allowing it to form the next government. The USDP won only 33 seats (around 7 percent). The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy holds 15 seats and 10 other parties (two Rakhine parties, two Kachin parties and one each representing the Ta’ang, Mon, Pa-O, Kayah, Wa and Zomi) won a total of 32 seats.