Undeniable Facts that Led to Widespred Election Frauds

          Just by reading the title of my article, please do not think I represent the newly formed Union Election Commission. Also do not think I am a pro-Tatmadaw as the article will uncover the facts of election frauds. I am just a common civilian watching curiously how the frauds occurred in 2020 General Elections.

          It is said that the root cause of the current situations in Myanmar is the election frauds. So, I became curious to know the answer of the question whether there were terrible frauds in the election. From the lingering announcements of the current UEC on the findings of every single townships with statistics and figures in details which have been released daily for months, I will highlight the distinct electoral frauds in a way that will help people clearly understand.

          In this regard, I wrote this article with a good-will intent to share the points what I observed from the statistics announced by the UEC from 16 May to 8 June 2021. I sincerely want to admit that the contents in my articles are simply described with my personal perspective comparing the actual situations occurred in the pre-election period and election day with the UEC findings without any intention to criticize a political party.

How the preparations were made

          In case a question raises whether the NLD led government actually made certain preparations to steal votes in the previous election, the answer will be ‘Yes’. The most significant evidence that assures the answer is the testimonies of the members the former UEC saying that the UEC was not independent as it operated under the control of the then government. That was, no doubt, undeniable.  I will also point out  one of the pre-planned acts which clearly breached the law. Although the right to enact law for the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population – MoLIP is not granted to regions and states according to the 2008 Constitution, the then NLD-led administration expended the MoLIP structure by appointing ministers for respective regions and states. The reason behind this move was the deceitful attempt of NLD-led government to narrow the gap between the voting roll of UEC and the lists of MoLIP. However, the eligible voter lists of MoLIP could not easily be adjusted as the lists of region/state level are also at the union level. That was a weak point for NLD government.

          Another point is substituting the members of ward/village election sub-commission with NLD hard cores. The evidence of official documents showed it was led by the chief ministers of regions and states. For instance, the chief ministers of Bago region U Win Thein formed the election sub-commission with the inclusion of his niece U San San Myat. The chairmen and members of ward/village election sub-commission play critical role in decision-making in the election-related matters on ground.

Hence, NLD party campaign teams themselves participated in the process of taking advance votes using their party banners and logos. I no more want to point out other matters in detail like appointing two unidentified computer experts at each township election sub-commission and supply of necessary computes and accessories by International Foundation of Electoral System (IFES). When the voter rolls were scrutinized by the Tatmadaw, over 10 millions of possible electoral frauds were found. According to the findings of ground inspections of 309 townships, the total number of township commission lists is 38,044,378 (over 38 millions) and lists of MoLIP for the townships is merely 31,751,759 (over 31millions). Therefore, the number of eligible voters for the townships was bloated with over 6.2 millions extra voters. Moreover, according to the findings of the inspecting teams comprising departmental officials and the members of former and current UECs, it found out that the total number of people involved in voter lists more than two times with the same Citizenship Scrutiny Card (CSC) was 3,573,672 and the total number of people involved in voter lists more than three times with the same CSC was 293,960.

          The above-mentioned facts show how they pre-planned with their trusted persons to make the voter lists bloated more than it should have been.

Why the voter rolls were bloated

          The primary reason of making the voter rolls bloated is to print out extra ballot papers. As printing out extra ballots correlates with the number of eligible voters, the bloated voter lists will accordingly lead to extra ballots. Using the extra ballots, various attempts had been made to get more votes for NLD party to ensure their victory. For instance, the sacks with NLD logos containing ballot papers sent from NLD party offices were found in Magway town. Therefore, according to the findings of inspections, 4,901,043 voters without any Citizenship Scrutiny Card (CSC); 1,420,747 (over 1.4 million) missing ballots and 435,669 extra ballots were found. The missing ballots were certainly the votes for other political parties and the extra ballots became votes for NLD party.

Another important point is that the numbers of ballot papers in the polling boxes and the number of its receipts must be same. However, the findings of inspection shows the numbers of withdrawal, receipt, used, and remaining ballot papers were found different. In 309 townships after inspections, 42,742,783 ballots were taken out (over 42 millions), 26,961,801 (over 26 millions) ballots were used. However, 14,795,904 (over 14 millions) ballots were left instead of 15,780,982 ballots (over 15 millions). Therefore, it found the remaining ballots were vividly different after the number of used ballots was subtracted from the ballots taken. Moreover, the number of receipts of ballots and the number of ballots in the polling boxes were also found different. Such finding are the strong evidence of electoral frauds.

Other irregular activities

          As it was mentioned above, the members of ward/village election sub-commissions were hard cores of NLD party and they made various irregular attempts in taking advance votes. Most of the elderly who casted advance votes are weak in vision. Taking the advantage of it, they dishonestly attempted to get check mark and press stamp on the place of NLD candidate on the ballot papers. In taking advance votes using NLD party banners and logos, most of the people would have simply thought they took votes for the NLD party. In order to make the ballot papers official, the statements and orders were issued stating that the ballots merely containing check marks without UEC logo and other check marks using ball pen were recognized as valid votes. The given reason was emergence of fake stamper. There were also other irregular instructions such as allowing people to cast votes again at their nearest polling stations due to COVID-19. Therefore, the cases of repeated casting votes appeared.

          There were many other evidence out-there that allowed people without sufficient data to cast votes like issuing ballots without fingerprints or signatures. Despite the various attempts to make the extra ballots legal, in reality, the ballots were much bloated and many irregular acts at grassroot level could no more be hidden. As the distinct instances: the ballot papers from 2015 general election were used to count votes for NLD candidate Naw Pwal Sae from Kyopinkok township; the candidate in the ballot papers in Yesagon township were mistakenly the ones from Magway township; the number of voting results posted by famous Hip-Hop singer NLD party Hluttaw representative on social media was more than the eligible number; and finding of nine new ballot books without serial number in Thegon township.

There are many other endless irregularities to point out such as: not returning ballot receipts and ballots in Ngazun and Tungtha townships; allowing 11 supplementing voters to cast votes filling their data in hand-written format by ward/village election sub-commission; the incident of not returning the ballot recepits in Thabeikkyin, Nyaung-U, Madaya and Moegok townships. Addition to this, before election, other political parties were prohibited to run election campaigns on the pretext of COVID-19 pandemic while the NLD party members were celebrating election campaigns, and other activities like official as a single outlet  to the suffocations of people due to the global pandemic. Moreover, the statements and video campaigns of other political parties were also censored. Everybody might have known that over 1.2 millions of citizens lost their right to cast votes since the then government did not allow to hold elections in some Rakhine and some townships from Shan State where the NLD party was less likely to win.

          According to reports from NLD party, It is observed that the NLD led administration and the party then did not want the emergence of coalition like government, and therefore, they conducted such illegal and irregular acts to ensure the complete victory and power dominance over Myanmar politics. However, the pre-planned acts and irregular attempts to steal votes mentioned-above are totally unacceptable for any country with any political system. Such undisciplined and terrible electoral frauds have not occurred even in the ASEAN countries besides others in the regions beyond. It has not even seen in the election history of Myanmar.

          Since the result of a transparent, free and fair election is critical in flourishing the genuine multi-party democracy system, I sorrowfully remark that the 2020 general elections became ugly due to the power hunger of a political party.

          Drawing a conclusion, I would like to make a recommendation that the breaching laws and rules, stealing votes and irregularities taken place in 2020 general election are the matters that should be systematically revealed to public step by step using video records. In doing so, it is also important to present the case with its relations in which people can easily understand. Now, let me conclude my article here by saying that the video records full of evidence and lessons to learn will surely become an infamous milestone in the history of Myanmar.

Min Khant