Chin State Election Commission Rebukes Tatmadaw’s Accusations of Election Fraud

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The Election Commission (EC) in Chin State said that accusations of voting fraud during the recent race levelled by the Tatmadaw were unsubstantial and without merit. The EC was referring to a recent investigation by the Tatmadaw Information Team that claimed over 6,000 votes cast in Hakha Township could be fraudulent. 

After an investigation at polling stations in the township the Burma Army said that 3,855 ballots overlapped and a further 3,090 votes appeared “suspicious”. The investigation by the Tatmadaw claimed 3,026 people were registered to cast ballots without a national ID card. A further 2,938 had ID but their personal information was incorrect. Additionally, 45 voters listed in the registry were allegedly over the age of one-hundred.

Lin Kyaw, who’s the secretary for EC in Chin State, told Khonumthung News that in rural areas where everyone knows each other voting fraud of this kind isn’t possible. “If someone tried to cast a ballot at a polling station a second time, the election officer would know they’re trying to commit fraud.” But  adding, polling officers don’t necessarily know who the Burma Army soldiers “therefore, we can’t say if they committed fraud.”

Dr Hmu Thang, chair of the military backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for Chin State backed the investigation by the Tatmadaw Information Team, saying it was probably correct. While pointing out that fraud happened in Thangtlang Township on the November 8 election day.

“The Election Commission wasn’t careful with the voting registry in Thangtlang. Some eligible voters didn’t have ID. And others peoples’ names were included twice in the list. In addition, there were voters registered over the age of 125-years-old.”

If this happened in Thangtlang Township, it could have happened elsewhere, he explained.

After the National League for Democracy (NLD) won yet again in another landslide victory, the USDP disputed election results across the country, calling for recounts in many municipalities.

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