YANGON—Myanmar’s military regime has rounded up dozens of officials of the ousted government’s Union Election Commission (UEC) for questioning, making good on its vow to investigate what it claims was mass electoral fraud in the November poll.
On Wednesday and Thursday, many UEC officials at the state, regional, district and township levels in Rakhine, Ayeyarwady and many other parts of the country were taken away from their homes. UEC offices have been sealed off by police since last week.
The exact number of officials rounded up is not yet available, but is believed to be in the dozens.
The military staged a takeover last week, claiming that the general election late last year that brought a landslide victory to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s then-ruling National League for Democracy was stolen, contrary to the assertions of local and international election observers. The military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party did very poorly in the election. While seizing power, the military arrested the country’s elected leaders, President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Following the takeover, the junta abolished the UEC and launched investigations into its senior members.
In his first speech to the nation as coup leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said this week that the regime had reformed the UEC and was inspecting the voter lists used in the election, in accordance with the law.
“We will release the findings as soon as possible,” he said.
On Thursday, the ruling National League for Democracy condemned the roundup as “lawless” and called on the military regime to halt it immediately.
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