Shan Party Candidate Alleges Fraud in Myanmar’s General Election

By Thiha Lwin 24 December 2020

Yangon — A Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) candidate in the November 8 general election has filed a complaint with the Union Election Commission (UEC) about alleged electoral malpractices in northern Shan State.

Upper House constituency 5, which consists of Muse, Kutkai and Namkham, was won by the Ta’ang National Party (TNP) candidate Aik Mun.

SNLD candidate U Maw Tun Aung claimed there was ballot stuffing, voter impersonation and coercion in some villages in the constituency on Nov. 8.

“My complaint is not targeted at a particular party or candidate. I have filed the complaint to support reform of the entire electoral system for future elections,” the candidate said.

He claimed that there was underage voting and there were large numbers of older voters who should have cast early ballots. Some people also voted twice by washing off electoral ink or covering it with plasters, U Maw Tun Aung said.

TNP candidate Aik Mun said he won fairly. “I don’t give lip service. I just walk the walk. Everyone knows that. That’s why I won the election,” he said.

The TNP, SNLD, Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the National League for Democracy (NLD), Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), Kachin National Party and Union Betterment Party contested for the seat.

Aik Mun secured 49,221 votes, winning with a majority of more than 3,000 over U Maw Tun Aung.

U Maw Tun Aung alleged pressure came from ethnic armed groups, including the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and people’s militias, which are active in the area.

“Any armed group, if they believe in democracy, should allow people to exercise their rights freely,” said U Maw Tun Aung.

Analyst U Ye Htun has called on witnesses to come forward if they have evidence of electoral fraud.

There are 330,532 voters in the constituency with 187,575 casting ballots of which 7,713 were invalid and 86 went missing. The voter turnout was 56.75 percent, according to the UEC.

In the 2015 general election, the TNP beat the SNLD, USDP, NLD, SNDP and an independent candidate in the constituency.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko 

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