Ethnic Shan Party Slams Myanmar Junta for Scrapping 2020 Election
By The Irrawaddy 29 July 2021
The popular Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) on Wednesday rebuked the junta’s cancellation of the 2020 general election results.
On Monday, the military regime officially revoked the results of last year’s general election, nearly six months after it seized power in February, claiming the November poll was marred by fraud.
“Cancellation of the election results is unfair and unacceptable because it oversteps the provisions in the 2008 Constitution upheld by the State Administrative Council itself as well as election law and goes against democratic norms,” said the SNLD statement.
It is bullying candidates who honestly contested the election and the voters to completely annul the results without allowing candidates to challenge the decision, the ethnic party said.
It said the results represent the people’s will, adding that it recognizes its 42 candidates who won seats as the people’s representatives.
The National League for Democracy won 920 (or 82 percent) of the 1,117 elected seats up for grabs nationwide while the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) managed a humiliating 71 seats (or 6.4 percent) of elected seats. On the election day, some USDP representatives were caught with counterfeit voting stamps.
Despite the regime’s claim, international observers like the Carter Center and domestic monitoring groups said the polls were free and fair. The Asian Network for Free Elections said the outcome was “by and large, representative of the will of the people of Myanmar”.
The regime has detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other senior NLD leaders since its coup on Feb. 1. Some party members have died in custody.
The regime has also replaced the leadership in the country’s election body. At a meeting with some political parties in May, the military-appointed Union Election Commission said it was considering dissolving the NLD.
Britain’s minister for Asia Nigel Adams tweeted: “The junta in Myanmar continues to subvert democracy. It has annulled the results of the 2020 general election despite independent observers finding these reflected the true will of the electorate. The junta’s investigation lacks any credibility.”
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