Yangon, August (3)

Some political parties and election observers noted that the military council’s election won’t take place because the crisis may intensify amid the current political issues.

The junta stressed that it would hold a free and fair multi-party democratic general election nationwide in 2023, but there is ongoing armed conflict nationwide, bringing the people to the brink of poverty.

The military council held a meeting of the National Defense and Security Council and unanimously decided on July 31 to extend the state of emergency by six months.

The Arakan National Party (ANP) Chairman, U Tha Tun Hla noted that the situation is not conducive to holding an election because the conflicts have intensified throughout the country and villages are being torched every day, and there are arrests and killings.

“It’s important for voters to be able to cast their vote freely and safely. I don’t think that the current complicated situation in Myanmar is the right time to hold an election,” he added.

The military council said that the basic voter list and population check for the election have been conducted in more than 290 townships from February to July 25 this year, and the remaining 14 townships are underway.

An election observer pointed out that the military council’s voter list is based only on the 2020 election, so it is impossible to get an accurate voter list amidst the current instability in the country.

In addition, amid the ongoing conflict, the military regime has not yet been able to form election commissions at district levels, so there is little chance of holding elections, he said.

The military council has also admitted that population census cannot be conducted in 13 townships in war-torn regions such as Kayah and Chin States, and Magway and Sagaing Regions.

The upcoming 2023 election will be held under the proportional representation (PR) system according to the 2008 constitution, so political analysts have concluded that the election result will only prolong the military dictatorship.

In this situation, political parties have to decide on their own whether or not to run in the election, which is the escape of the military council, said veteran politician U Pe Than.

Political analysts predict that due to the armed conflict taking place across the country, there are slim chances of conducting an election with fewer voters.

The National Unity Government (NUG)’s Acting President, Duwa Lashi La has warned that now is the critical time to completely destroy the junta’s election, as the military regime must be defeated politically and militarily.

News- Than Lwin Times

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