Fraud allegations ignored by election body

Three complaints about election fraud that were filed to the Election Commission in the past week have been ignored, an opposition party has said.

The Democratic Party Myanmar (DPM) claims that it made multiple complaints about election irregularities to the supreme authority since 29 October, but no response has so far been given. It mirrors similar allegations made recently in Arakan state.

The majority of complaints made by the opposition party, which is fielding 50 candidates in the 7 November polls, focus on the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

“This has been happening all over Myanmar [Burma]; what they call signing their ballots in advance,” said DPM general secretary Nay Ye Ba Swe. “All the civil servants, including the military men and police, are forced to cast their votes in advance. If not they are afraid to lose their jobs” she told DVB.

“Even factory owners and businessmen have to give them their votes or they will lose the renewal of their licence. In the rural areas it’s the worst – people are simple and are so scared. Even farmers are forced to sign away their vote in advance” she continued.

DPM chairman, Thu Wei, added that the USDP, which will contest 1,112 of the 1,158 seats in parliament, had been using public buildings such as schools and churches to rally for support, in violation of election laws.

He said the party had also collected signatures of voters and then told them there was no need to head to the ballot stations on the day. Widespread ambivalence about the election laws has triggered multiple complaints of exploitation by pro-junta parties.

Nay Ye Ba Swe said that she had even heard reports that dead people’s names were on voting lists, while the USDP has already been accused of buying votes and coercing civilians into joining its party.

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