Exclusive: The Second Anniversary of 2020 General Election

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Yangon, November (9)

On November 8, this year marks the 2nd anniversary of the 2020 general election, which was held under the NLD government amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the 2020 general election, there are 91 political parties running, 19 of which won, and among the independent candidates, they secured two seats for State and Regional Hluttaws and two seats for ethnic affairs ministers.

Elections were held in 1,117 of 1,171 constituencies across the country, with the National League for Democracy (NLD) winning 920 of them, exceeding the number of seats required for forming a government and winning more than 80% of the votes.

According to the Union Election Commission, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won only 72 constituencies.

General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the military, said during the 2020 election that the outcome of the people’s will could not be rejected and had to be recognized, but on February 1, 2021, he took state power by using force.

Political analyst U Than Soe Naing came to the conclusion that the military staged the coup in order to keep military dominance of politics in place for the long term and to prevent the NLD party from attaining power.

“A group of generals who want to keep military-dominated politics in place for the long term cannot accept the NLD party led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi regaining power.That’s why they staged the coup,” he explained.

The NLD rejected a request by some top army generals to suspend the third Hluttaw session on January 28, 2021, three days before the seizure of power last year.

The ruling group seized power on the pretext of vote fraud, but international and election observers have noted that the 2020 election was fair despite some weaknesses and flaws.

The voters who cast their ballots with ink on their pinkies did not accept the military coup, and just a few days after the coup, tens of thousands of people across the country took to the streets to protest.

The people unanimously demanded that the election results be accepted and that power be returned to the winning party.

A school teacher who joined CDM because she could not serve under military rule said that she would only accept the establishment of a federal democratic union under the current situation.

“In the past, we accepted the results of the 2020 election and the government chosen by the majority of the people. But now, it will be two years since the military coup. The military dictatorship is very bad. We now accept the path to federal democracy that the people want,” he said.

He claimed that if the results of the 2020 election are accepted, a military coup could take place once more because there are people connected to the military group politically or economically. As a result, we must overthrow the military dictatorship and establish a federal democratic union.

Civil servants from various sectors did not accept the military coup and joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

The junta army violently cracked down and shot people who were peacefully protesting, arrested and imprisoned those who participated in the protest, and tortured them at the interrogation centers.

As of October 7, the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) reported that 2,420 people were killed in the Spring Revolution while opposing the military coup.

In addition, since the military coup until November 7 of this year, 12,890 people have been arrested and detained, of whom 1,632 have been sentenced to prison terms.

The NLD legislators and election commission members, including the senior officials of the nation, have been arrested, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, since the military coup.

The NLD-HRD T, a group that keeps track of instances of human rights abuses, reports that as of October, 1,169 party members have been detained, including 90 lawmakers.

Four months after the military coup, the people chose the path of armed resistance against the military dictatorship, and the People’s Defense Forces against the military council suddenly emerged all over the country.

Similarly, members of the National League for Democracy and a few ethnic leaders joined together to form the NUG in opposition to the military regime.

In order to eradicate the military dictatorship, military conflicts are currently raging throughout the country, and the military regime is fighting with ethnic armed organizations in the Kachin, Karenni, Rakhine, Chin and Karen States, including the People’s Defense Forces.

U Tun Aung Kyaw of the Rakhine National Party, who won as Sittwe Township’s Amyotha Hluttaw representative in 2020 election, stated that the situation cannot be handled through political means.

People’s political expectations are at an all-time high right now, and the military dictatorship is clearly on its way out, therefore, people believe it is more suitable to concentrate on establishing a federal democratic union.

People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) and ethnic armed organizations, including the National Unity Government (NUG), which are fighting against the military regime, are moving towards the overthrow of the military dictatorship and the building of a federal democratic union.

Nai Nagar, the spokesman for the Southern Mon State Defense Force (MSDF-S), explained, “In order to build a future federal union, we must first topple the military regime as soon as possible. Second, we must abolish the 2008 Constitution. We see that some democratic forces are still clinging to the 2008 constitution. At the very least, the 2008 law must be revoked to build a federal union. Otherwise, we will not be able to build a peaceful new union in the future”.

The junta has promised to hold a free and fair general election with a proportional representation (PR) system in 2023 and hand over power to the winning party.

A voter who cast a ballot in the 2020 election stated that he would not accept the election of the military council and would not go to the poll station.

Political and electoral observers believe that, the military group may hold elections in some urban and rural areas they can control in order to gain legitimacy. However, they pointed out that the election to be held by the military regime will not be a free and fair election because it is only aimed at prolonging the life of the military dictatorship.

The National Unity Government (NUG) has set 2023 as the year that will end the revolution, saying that it will wipe out the ruling group’s elections.

News- Than Lwin Times

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