Burma

Myanmar’s Main Opposition Party Files 630 Electoral Complaints

By San Yamin Aung 17 November 2020

YANGON — Myanmar’s military proxy party has filed over 600 complaints about alleged malpractice in the Nov. 8 general election, calling the results “unfair”.

Disputing its humiliating electoral defeat, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) claims the election was marred by fraud, despite both international and domestic election observers reporting no major irregularities at the polls.

The USDP’s vice-chairman and a former brigadier general, U Khin Yi, said in a video message on Saturday that over 80 alleged election malpractices have been presented to the police and more than 550 electoral complaints with the Union Election Commission (UEC).

According to the party, the alleged cases included people voting twice, underage voters, voter impersonation and sub-commissioners breaching election law.

The UEC has called on the party to file complaints or objections if it has evidence of malpractice or fraud. Under the Election Law, electoral disputes and malpractice can be reported within 45 days of the results being announced.

The commission has also taken legal action over around 20 cases of alleged electoral fraud. Among those who face prosecution are a teacher who allegedly voted twice in Ayeyarwady Region, a USDP candidate’s representative who allegedly provided a fake stamp to replace a faulty UEC-approved stamp to mark ballots in Yangon Region and five election staff in Sagaing Region. Three of the election staff allegedly fraudulently voted on behalf of two voters. The other two cases involve election staff who allegedly provided two, rather than three, ballot papers to two voters.

U Khin Yi rejected criticism that the USDP could not accept defeat.

“Some say we cannot accept our defeat. It is true that we are not satisfied as the results have not met our expectations. But we are not protesting because we cannot accept defeat. We are doing this to make the results fair and lawful,” the vice-chair said in his video message.

He said the party did not object to the election results in 2015 as they were perceived as free and fair but many controversies surround the Nov. 8 election.

The 2015 general election was held under the USDP-led government, which appointed the UEC at the time. The NLD defeated the USDP, winning 77 percent of all contested parliamentary seats. The USDP only secured 117 seats of parliamentary seats, around 10 percent of the total.

This month the NLD won by a greater landslide, with 920 seats (82.3 percent) in 1,117 contested seats in the Union, state and regional legislatures, while the USDP secured only 71 seats or 6.4 percent.

The USDP — formed by ex-generals — ruled Myanmar from 2011 to 2015 after winning the 2010 general election, which was boycotted by the NLD.

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