Yangon, January (8)
The military council said at the beginning of the year that this year’s election will be held using the proportional representation (PR) system when the country has seen deterioration in all aspects during the almost two years of the military coup, the people are in a state of mental and physical distress.
U Khin Maung Oo, the spokesman of the junta’s Union Election Commission (UEC), said that the relevant groups and political parties held four meetings in February, May, November and December 2021 regarding the PR system and decided to apply the Close List PR system.
The military-backed Union Security and Development Party (USDP) and its allies and ethnic parties are among the more than 60 political parties.
However, because there are 91 political parties on the Union Election Commission’s website’s current list, the decision to adopt the PR system in the election does not reflect the opinions of all political parties.
Sai Laik, the General Secretary of Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) noted that no matter what system the election is held, as long as the military is involved in politics, it will not get the public’s support and optimism.
Under the 2008 Constitution, the state of emergency will expire on February 1, so the military council must hold elections within six months of the handover of power to the National Defense and Security Council.
The EAO ethnic armed organizations, meanwhile, have stated that they will strongly reject the election and refuse to recognize it. With the exception of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), most political parties have not been seen engaging in intra-party campaigning.
Arakan National Party (ANP)’s Chairman U Tha Tun Hla told Than Lwin Times that the junta UEC has not informed their party about the election until today.
The junta UEC is currently checking population with voter lists and planning to locate polling station in some regions and provinces where fighting has not occurred, including the Nay Pyi Taw council area where the military regime is based, in collaboration with the General Administration Department, and Immigration and Population Department.
U Than Soe Naing, a political analyst, criticizes that the military council will hold an election to get a political escape, so this election will not be a free and fair election, adding “”Despite the fact that the 2008 constitution makes no mention of it, the military will run elections using a proportional representation system. In fact, the military council does not have the authority to change the law like this. Parliament has the power to do this.”
Daw Khin Wai Kyi, a representative of the National Democratic Force (NDF) Party, submitted a proposal to the Amyotha Hluttaw in 2014 to use the PR system for the general election.
Concerning that proposal, the Constitutional Court has ruled since 2016 that using the PR system in elections is incompatible with the 2008 Constitution.
Political analysts argue that the election, which will be held using a PR system that deviates from the 2008 Constitution, will not be free and fair given the current political situation, and that armed conflicts will likely intensify throughout the country, with very few people voting.
News-Than Lwin Times