Burma

NUG Acting President Calls for People to put an end to Junta’s Planned Election

By The Irrawaddy 14 June 2022

Acting president of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) Duwa Lashi La called on Tuesday for people to prepare to put an end to the fraudulent election planned by the junta for next year, which the country’s democratic forces see as an attempt to prolong military rule.

“This is an important time to prepare to completely eliminate the planned rigged election by the military council in 2023 through both political and military affairs,” he said at a meeting with the NUG cabinet on Tuesday.

Duwa Lashi La has also recently called for an escalation in the fight against the junta to wipe out military dictatorship. He said that the NUG’s armed wing, the People’s Defense Forces, and ethnic armed organizations now control over half the country.

The NUG acting president told his cabinet that efforts should not just be limited to the NUG’s defense ministry, but to all ministerial departments and urged them to organize and inform the public properly on the issue.

His call for an end to the planned election comes as the military regime continues to prepare for the new poll.

The Myanmar military refused to accept the results of the November 2020 general election, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory and the military’s proxy and allied parties suffered humiliating defeats.

The generals reacted by seizing power on February 1, 2021 and arresting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior NLD figures.

Soon after the coup, junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said his regime will hold a new election and hand over power to the winning party. Subsequently, it annulled the results of the 2020 poll and packed the Union Election Commission (UEC) with its own handpicked officials to oversee any post-coup voting.

Around 40 Myanmar rights groups, anti-regime strike committees and their ethnic allies called on Monday for people to shun the junta’s planned election next year, saying it is just a ruse to prolong military rule.

38 groups including the Democratic Party for a New Society, Women’s League of Burma, General Strike Committee, General Strike Committee of Nationalities and ethnic civil society groups issued a joint statement saying that while the country’s popular ongoing revolution aims to end military dictatorship in Myanmar and establish a federal democratic union, recognizing the junta’s election would go against that and only solidify the military regime.

“If it goes as they [the junta] plan, it will give the junta a position to use it [the election] as a way out of their desperation,” the groups warned, while also calling on all revolutionary forces to combine to crush the regime’s conspiracy.

Since the coup, the junta has continued to target the most popular NLD party members and elected lawmakers with violence, killings, arrest warrants and seizing their houses. Some 38 NLD members have been killed by junta forces and their allies, according to the NLD, while the regime has arrested more than 830 NLD members, of whom 645 including leaders and senior members remain in detention.

On Tuesday, U Kyaw Htwe, a spokesperson for the NLD’s central working committee, told The Irrawaddy that the regime seized power unlawfully and so doesn’t have the authority to hold either a new election or to appoint members of the UEC.

“Even if the regime makes the election happen while still repressing the party, which has received a public mandate, through various illegal means, the poll be will nothing more than a sham election that mocks democracy and goes against the public will. We have no reason to accept their so-called election,” said U Kyaw Htwe.

US State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet said on Saturday while attending the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that there was “no chance” the junta’s planned elections next year would be free and fair.

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