Myanmar’s Opposition Seeks Repoll as Suu Kyi Inches Towards Win
The military-backed USDP has reportedly alleged that “many contentious events” took place during the election.
Myanmar’s main opposition party, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), has sought a re-election, reported Reuters, on Wednesday, 11 November. The party has also asked for military help in carrying out a fair election, as partial results indicate that the incumbent party, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) is hurtling towards a thunderous win in the parliamentary election.
USDP, according to Reuters, asked authorities to hold a re-contest soon “in order to have an election that is free, fair, unbiased and free from unfair campaigning”.
Reuters also reported that the military-backed USDP has alleged that “many contentious events” took place during the election.
Than Htay, leader of USDP, posted a video on the party’s official Facebook page, informing that they were pursuing legal options and asking viewers to send evidence of “illegal acts”.
“There were many contentious events during the whole voting process, whether in line with the law or not, and more facts are coming out.”Than Htay, according to Reuters
“We will continue to work according to the law to receive the result our supporters want,” Htay further said.
Importance of the Parliamentary Election for Suu Kyi
According to Reuters, this development came as the party moved towards it’s second successive election sweep, winning more than 80 percent of the seats declared so far. One third of the results have reportedly been announced so far.
A win in the parliamentary election will be consequential for Aung San Suu Kyi government whose image outside the country has reportedly been mired with accusations of genocide agains Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority. However, her fledgling government is hugely popular within the country.
Issues Over Elections
The general elections held on 8 November were only the second general election since the end of full military rule in the country.
According to Reuters, the Election Commission in Myanmar, which is appointed by the President, has already garnered flak over alleged errors in voter lists, censorship of broadcasts by opposition parties, and the cancellation of voting in areas affected by insurgencies.
According to a report by The Guardian, an estimate of around 1.5 million voters from ethnic minorities in conflict-affected areas were not allowed to vote on Sunday, possibly over security concerns.
Many of these are reportedly Rakhine Buddhists who were allowed to vote in 2015 but not in 2020. Additionally, there are another 1.1 million members of the Rohingya community, who have long been denied citizenship and voting rights.
The NLD, on its part, has said that it was ready to cooperate if any credible evidence of violation is given, reported Reuters. However, according to international and local observers, the election took place smoothly without major irregularities.
(With inputs from Reuters and The Guardian.)
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