Myanmar Election Body Rejects Military Allegations of Electoral Fraud

By Nan Lwin 28 January 2021

YANGON — The Union Election Commission (UEC) has rejected all of the military’s claims of electoral fraud in the November general election, a day after the military threatened a possible coup if its complaints were ignored.

In response to the military’s attempts to discredit the election results, the UEC said there is no evidence of “voting malpractice” or people voting more than once, as the military claimed.

The UEC said underage people and the deceased could have been added to voter lists but COVID-19 travel restrictions would have stopped people from traveling easily to numerous polling stations.

The application of indelible ink to voters’ hands prevented multiple voting with the ink taking a week to be removed, the commission said.

While it has yet to produce on-the-ground evidence, the military claimed that it found 8.6 million irregularities which could lead to potential voter fraud in all 314 townships where voting took place.

The UEC dismissed claims of electoral fraud, saying each vote was counted transparently and witnessed by election candidates, election staff, the media, observers and other civil society organizations.

The military called on either the government, UEC or outgoing parliamentarians to prove the general election was free and fair before the new parliament sits on Feb. 1. However, parliamentary speaker T Khun Myat rejected the military’s demand to hold a special session, saying the UEC was constitutionally responsible for the general election.

The UEC said Article 4 of the military-drafted 2008 Constitution states “the sovereign power of the union is derived from the citizens” who elect representatives in each constituency.

It said the Constitution states that the public’s will should be not compromised by other parties.

If the military wanted to change the public’s will, it will violate the Constitution, electoral law and the will of the electorate, the UEC said.

The commission said it received 287 election complaints, 94 from voters and 193 from candidates, including about irregularities in voter lists. It said it has formed a tribunal to investigate the complaints.

The UEC said it has already opened several court hearings for objections to the general election.

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