Myanmar Election Observers Urge Military to Accept Election Results

By The Irrawaddy 29 January 2021

YANGON — Election observers have urged Myanmar’s military and its proxy political parties to accept the November general election results while helping build political stability in the country.

A joint statement from 12 domestic groups on Friday came as political tensions rose between the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the military as the armed forces refused to rule out a coup if their demands for an investigation into alleged electoral fraud were ignored.

The NLD won a landslide in the Nov. 8 election but the military and its proxy parties, like the Union Solidarity and Development Party, claimed there were electoral irregularities and have demanded an investigation. The government-appointed electoral body, the Union Election Commission, insisted that it acted lawfully.

The joint statement said there was growing concern that electoral disputes would cause instability and endanger the country’s democratic transition.

The groups observed the voter’s list announcements, campaigning, voting and counting. They reported that the November polls had some weaknesses due to COVID-19 restrictions and some flaws in electoral processes.

“However, the domestic election observer groups found the election results were credible and reflected the will of the majority,” said the statement.

It added that they believed only a meaningful discussion among political parties would address electoral weaknesses and shortcomings and help amend the electoral legal framework.

“Therefore, we urge all political parties and the Tatmadaw [military] to respect the election results and collaborate with different stakeholders to ensure stability and a peaceful power transition,” said the statement.

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