Military council fantasizes about using voting machines amid uncertainty over election schedule

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Nay Pyi Taw, 26 August

The military council, which maintains power under the guise of the country’s instability, has held demonstrations of the electronic voting machine and trial voting at the ministries although the exact date of the election is undetermined.

The junta-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC) has been conducting practical demonstration voting with electronic voting machines every day since 14 August.

Hundreds of officials and staff, including relevant Union Ministers from the ministries: the Union Auditor General Office, the Union Government Office, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Information, Education, Science, and Technology, and others, conducted test voting using the voting machine, reported the junta’s propaganda newspaper.

According to political parties, the Election Commission has also invited political parties that have received party registration approval to conduct trial voting with such electronic voting machines.

The chairman of the Karen National Democratic Party (KNDP) and the Arakan Front Party (AFP) confirmed to Than Lwin Times that the military council has invited four people from each party to observe the demonstration of the electronic voting machine and trial voting at the meeting hall of the Yangon regional government office on September 5.

According to one election observer, “The military council is unable to provide enough information about the election, and voting with an electronic machine is daydreaming when the country experiences frequent power outages”.

General Zaw Min Tun said at a press conference held on 22 August, “The military council’s goal is to successfully hold a free and fair multi-party democratic general election in order to strengthen the multi-party democratic system.”

However, the military council refused to set a date for the election, instead stating that it was compiling a list of eligible voters for the next election.

U Than Soe Naing, a political analyst, said, “Whether or not the military council can launch an election campaign in the current situation, it will not give up on the purpose of holding the election. No country will accept the junta’s plan to hold the election with an electronic system”.

On the other hand, more than 60 political parties have applied for registration with the junta UEC, but currently only 36 parties have received approval.

“Until today, our party has not received approval to register. I believe the military council is evaluating parties with the potential to become powerful”, said U Thar Tun Hla, the chairman of the Arakan National Party, a powerful ethnic organization.

The Union Election Commission issued the Political Party Registration Law in January of this year, and 40 parties that did not register within 60 days were disbanded.

At the defense and security meeting, the military leader stated two conditions: first, to hold elections in areas that are not subjected to armed attacks and instability, and second, to hold nationwide mandatory elections. Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing stated that the thing for these scenarios is to achieve peace and order in the area as well as the rule of law.

The democratic forces have made it clear that they do not accept the election, which is the political exit of the military council, amidst the battle to eradicate the military dictatorship.

 News – Than Lwin Times

Photo: MOI

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