Observers — Radio Free Asia

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Burma’s junta has chosen the path of “total self-destruction” by defying the will of the people in a bid to legitimize its takeover, an official from the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) said on Tuesday. response to an announcement canceling the 2020 national election results.

Late Monday, the military-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC) said it had rejected Myanmar’s Nov. 8 ballot count, which was won by Aung San Suu’s NLD party. Kyi, saying that more than 11.3 million ballots…representing almost a third of the country’s registered voters – had been discarded due to fraud and other irregularities.

Among the alleged irregularities, the commission said that the NLD government had appointed members of the UEC sub-committee at the state and regional level in Myanmar, the election authorities allowed voters to vote without showing their national IDs, voters voted multiple times under the same name, and members of the NLD Election Victory Committee were part of a commission to collect the first ballots.

The announcement was quickly rejected by several political parties in Myanmar, who argued it ignored the will of the country’s 37 million registered voters and the candidates they claim won in free and fair elections. .

Candidates from 10 political parties won parliamentary seats in the 2020 elections, although the NLD party won a clear majority with 396 of the 664 seats in the bicameral legislature.

On Tuesday, Aung Kyi Nyunt, a member of the NLD Central Executive Committee who won a seat in the Amyothar Hluttaw (National Assembly) for Constituency No. 6 in Magwe Region, called the decision to annul the results of the elections of “violation” of the law of the country. Constitution of 2008, drafted by the then ruling junta government under Snr. General Than Shwe.

“First, an electoral body appointed by the [junta] can’t just dismiss results like this. Second, the will of the people cannot be overruled by an ordinance based on the decision of a group of people on a piece of paper. And third, we have no reason to recognize an electoral commission formed by an illegitimate government,” he said.

“We strongly believe that this statement is not legally binding or democratically viable.”

Aung Kyi Nyunt said the junta had embarked on a path of “total self-destruction”, devoid of popular support, choosing to nullify the poll results and ignore the will of the people.

Myanmar’s military seized power on February 1 in a coup, arresting former state councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior NLD leaders.

Three weeks after the coup, the UEC called a meeting with the country’s political parties, informing them that the 2020 election results would be overturned and that the NLD would likely be disbanded for rigging the vote.

The junta offered no evidence to back up its allegations of voter fraud and responded violently to widespread protests, killing 934 people and arresting 5,382, according to the Bangkok-based Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP). .

Demonstrators march in Yangon to demand an end to military rule on the anniversary of a 1962 massacre of students by the Burmese army, July 7, 2021. RFA

“More confidence”

On Tuesday, Aye Thida Myint, chairwoman of the Lahu National Development Party (LNDP), which won a seat in the state in last year’s poll, said the cancellation marked a new low for the junta.

“The annulment of the results means that everything we did for the elections, all our efforts, were in vain,” she said.

“After all this, even if new elections are to be held, we will no longer have confidence in the current political situation. The cancellation destroyed the goals and aspirations of the people. This is totally unacceptable to us. »

Thar Tun Hla, the chairman of the Rakhine National Party (ANP) which won a seat in the 2020 elections, said the military may have canceled the election results in response to claims by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Committee of Representatives ( CRPH) and the shadow National Unity Government (NUG) that they represent the interests of the people.

“Cancelling the election results could be a way to refute the CRPH and NUG’s claim that they represent the will of the people and have a mandate,” he said.

In 2020, the ANP won four seats in the Pyithu Hluttaw, or Lower House, and four seats in the National Assembly, as well as 15 seats in seven state and regional assemblies.

Attempts by RFA to contact Dr. Nandar Hla Myint, spokesperson for the military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which won 71 seats in the 2020 elections, went unanswered on Tuesday.

The USDP, made up of retired army officers, refused to accept the 2020 election results and its calls for a new vote set the stage for the military coup. The junta said it would hold another poll in a year.

Gather the opposition

Political analyst Than Soe Naing criticized the junta’s decision to overturn the election results at a time when the international community is calling for the return of power to the civilian NLD government.

“It goes against the real will of the people,” he said.

“This is part of a process that seeks to justify a dishonorable coup… But we find that even the parties that supported [the military] politically can accept this decision.

Aung Htoo, a Burmese lawyer based in Sweden, also criticized the cancellation of internationally recognized election results and suggested it would lead to the fall of the junta.

“It will never be possible to have a federal democracy and a lasting peace under the leadership of the military regime,” he said.

“This decision will push ethnic forces, pro-democracy forces and the people as a whole to join forces in the fight against the military to achieve their goal of peace.”

Reported by Myanmar Service of RFA. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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