Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta says efforts underway for elections in August 2023

Bangkok, Dec 24 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military government has reiterated its commitment to hold general elections in August 2023 after lifting the state of emergency declared since the army seized power after toppling a democratically elected civilian government on Feb.1.

“Depending on the peace and stability of the country, the Tatmadaw (the Myanmar Army) is striving for holding the multiparty democracy general election in August 2023 as much as possible,” junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said.

He addressed a meeting with heads and teachers of military colleges in Yangon Thursday.

The government-owned newspaper, the Global New Light of Myanmar, said the coup leader, who has proclaimed himself as interim prime minister, insisted that the “government is striving to hold free and fair elections.”

The military dictator alleged that the elections held in November 2020 were not clean as the civilian government did not follow “the disciplines and fairness (of) democracy.”

The National League for Democracy, led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide in the polls, as it did in the previous elections in 2015.

But the military alleged massive fraud in the elections and canceled them soon after the army seized power and jailed top civilian leadership, including Suu Kyi, on the same day when the new parliament was to take the oath.

“Advance voting in the election was not in line with the law. Voter lists were wrong,” he alleged.

The military ruler said the army complained to the civilian government many times, but they did not address the alleged voter list fraud.

He reiterated that fraud in the elections forced the military to declare an emergency on Feb.1 this year.

He urged people and political parties to cooperate in issuing national registration cards to ensure citizens have the right to vote.

The coup sparked a wave of an uprising, with the military struggling to bring order across the country.

Since the coup, street protests have continued against the military junta across the country, as the civil disobedience movement paralyzed the administration and the private sector, plunging Myanmar into a spiral of crisis and violence.

The military has brutally resisted the peaceful demonstrations to restore democracy amid the worsening of armed conflicts in Myanmar.

At least 1,365 people have died in alleged military repressions against protesters, nonprofit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said.

However, the junta chief claimed that the army “is taking peaceful and stable measures to minimize the least casualties.” EFE


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