Sunday, 17 November 2019

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EC silent on allowing international monitors

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – At least two political parties have asked the Union Election Commission (UEC) to invite international monitoring teams to observe the April 1 by-election, but the UEC did not responded to the requests on Tuesday.

Union Election Commission chairman Tin Aye. Photo: MizzimaDuring a meeting of EC members and 17 political party members in Naypyitaw on Tuesday, the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) asked the EU to grant access to international observers, said party joint secretary Sai Maung Tin.

SNDP representative Sai Phone Aung asked for the observers, but EC Chairman Tin Aye did not respond to the request, Sai Maung Tin said.

“He didn’t answer the question, and he didn’t say anything about the issue,” he said.

Upper House MP Thein Nyunt of the New National Democracy Party also told Mizzima that he asked for international observers, but received no reply.

“I said this by-election would be watched by both international and domestic observers, and it be in the international limelight. He didn’t reply. I can’t say he absolutely rejected the issue,” Thein Nyunt said.

U.S. Senator John McCain and others urged Burmese officials last month to allow international monitoring teams to monitor the by-election.

Sai Maung Tin said that chairman Tin Aye assured them that this by-election would be free and fair.

“He promised us, but he also said that this cannot be done by the UEC alone and all political parties should monitor and help them make this by-election free and fair,” he told Mizzima.

Soe Win said that two candidates from the Democratic Alliance Party and 88 People’s Force Party, which were dissolved recently because the parties failed to contest in a minimum of three seats, would be allowed to contest as independent candidates.

A total of 17 political parties will contest for 48 vacant seats in this by-election. The total number of candidates including independents is 154.

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