Myanmar Regime to Charge 2020 Election Local Officials

By The Irrawaddy 3 December 2021

Myanmar’s junta-appointed election commission has been ordered to file lawsuits against township level election sub-commission heads and members who oversaw the 2020 general election won by the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) Party.

The military regime’s election body has instructed its sub-commissioners, who are mostly retired army officers, to prosecute the chairpersons and members of township level election sub-commissions of the ousted civilian government, according to one sub-commission member from Naypyitaw who has been in hiding since the February 1 coup and who asked to stay anonymous.

It is still unknown what the officials will be charged with, he added.

The move came after the junta’s election commission filed charges against the chairman of the election commission under the NLD and two other commission members, and sent them to Naypyitaw Prison.

The junta announced on November 16 that the trio will be prosecuted for alleged electoral fraud during the 2020 general election, along with top officials from the ousted NLD government including President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, both of whom are also being detained by the regime.

Myanmar’s military has claimed the NLD government engineered its landslide victory in the 2020 general election through “voter fraud”.

It arrested the then chairman of election commission and more than 100 election commissioners after the coup and annulled the election results. A majority of the commissioners were later released. However, the chairman and around 20 commission members remain in detention, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Officials and members of the ousted government’s township sub-commissions have rejected the junta’s accusations of mass irregularities on voter lists.

They said the voter lists were compiled using data from the General Administration Department and the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population. They added that election officials worked to correct all errors and inaccuracies by rolling out the lists on two occasions prior to the election.

“Filing lawsuits against us insults our dignity,” said one official from a township level election sub-commission in Mandalay.

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