Junta’s election commission demonstrates use of electronic voting machine

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Nay Pyi Taw, 7 September

The Union Election Commission (UEC) of military council which has usurped power on the pretext of voter fraud demonstrated the use of the electronic voting machine to political parties for the upcoming general election.

The UEC invited representatives from 36 parties that have been allowed to register as political parties and held a demonstration and test voting ceremony regarding the electronic voting machine at the Yangon Region Government Office on 5 September.

UEC chairman U Thein Soe said that voting with electronic voting machines would be more clear and easy for voters, and the results of the vote could be counted accurately and quickly.

“Voting with electronic voting machines has weaknesses even in developed countries,” said one election observer, “and this system is impossible in Myanmar, where there are frequent power outages and before ID cards are available for all citizens”.

Since February this year, the military council, which seized power on the ground of voter fraud in the 2020 general election, is planning to allow citizens to vote with electronic voting machines in the next election.

In August, after the military council extended the state of emergency for another six months, the electronic voting machine was tested and demonstrated in front of departmental officials, including the Union Ministers from different ministries.

UEC said that future elections will be held with the closed-list proportional representation (PR) system and is preparing to enact election laws and regulations that will be consistent with that system.

Veteran politician U Pe Than said, “The military council’s efforts to shape the election process are just spreading propaganda to the international community and people at home”.

Junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing said at a meeting of the military council on September 1 that an election will be held only after the nationwide census and voting process are completed in 2024.

However, the military council has not announced the scheduled date of the election until today, and the armed conflict that erupted as a result of the coup is spreading throughout the country, with people fleeing their homes and struggling for their lives.

In this situation, the military council asserted that it would work to ensure stability and peace in the entire country in order to hold elections, and U Pe Than pointed out that a free and fair election would not happen in practice.

Some ethnic armed organizations (EAO), the National Unity Government (NUG), and revolutionary forces officially announced that they would not accept the military council’s planned elections.

According to the junta’s UEC, there are currently 64 political parties that have applied for the right to establish and register as political parties under the military council’s Political Party Registration Law, and 36 of them have been granted permission.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo-CJ

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