Parties Call on Myanmar Military to Accept Election Results

By Nan Lwin Hnin Pwint 3 February 2021

Yangon — Political parties say they want Myanmar’s military not to hold a new election but to accept the result of the 2020 general election.

After seizing power in a coup on Monday on the pretext of electoral fraud in the November election that brought a landslide victory to the National League for Democracy (NLD), the Tatmadaw (military) declared a state of emergency for a year followed by a new election with the military handing power to the winner.

“Regarding another election, I want [the Tatmadaw] to thoroughly review the 2020 general election. I want it to accept the results,” said Aik Mong, chairman of the Ta’ang National Party, which won five seats in the Union Parliament and seven seats in the Shan State parliament.

Nai San Tin of the Mon Unity Party, which won five Union seats and six Mon State seats, expressed doubts about whether the military would hand over power.

“We don’t know how far the military will go in its takeover. I think it is unlikely that it will hold another election in a year and hand power to the winner,” he said.

Theh Reh, general secretary of the Kayah State Democratic Party, which won five Union seats and three Kayah State seats, suggested reviewing results in constituencies where there were alleged irregularities rather than holding a nationwide election.

“It is costly and both the people and election organizers will be too tired to hold a new general election across the country. It would be better to review the election and take legal action in constituencies where there was fraud and then think about how to form the government,” he said.

The party condemns the military’s coup on the pretext of electoral fraud, said Theh Reh, urging the Tatmadaw to solve issues through talks with the NLD.

The NLD, which won over 83 percent of the vote, released a statement calling for the release of all the detainees, including President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and recognize the general election results, which the Union Election Commission (UEC) had confirmed.

The Tatmadaw has also arrested the chairs of NLD chapters and seized photos of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD flags and documents from its offices.

“It is time the people and those in the government act to prevent the history of Myanmar from being stained,” said NLD central executive committee member U Aung Kyi Nyunt.

Daw Hnin Hnin Hmwe, joint general secretary of the New Democratic Party of a New Society, said: “The military quoted the 2008 Constitution saying, ‘The sovereign power of the Union is derived from the citizens’. The election results showed people handing power [to the NLD]. It is totally unacceptable to turn a blind eye and revoke the results.”

Karen National Democratic Party chairman Mahn Aung Pyi Soe said the issue must be peacefully resolved through talks.

On Jan. 29, diplomatic missions in Myanmar released a joint statement urging the Tatmadaw to adhere by democratic norms, saying they oppose any attempt to alter the outcome of the election or impede the democratic transition.

Twelve domestic civil society organizations engaged in election monitoring released a joint statement asking the Tatmadaw and all political parties to accept the election results.

The Tatmadaw, which has repeatedly expressed its distrust in the UEC, said it would appoint a new electoral body to organize the next election.

Translated from Burmese Thet Ko Ko

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