Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Election Commission tribunal to hear election cases

Wednesday, 19 January 2011 20:50 Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Union Election Commission (UEC) will hear several complaints and lawsuits filed by political parties and candidates that contested the 2010 general election in the next few days.

At least 28 lawsuits have been filed with the UEC in Naypyidaw including two cases by the National Democratic Force (NDF), nine cases by the Rhakine Nationalities Democratic Party, seven cases by the Shan National Democratic Party, three cases by the Democratic Party (Myanmar) and three cases by the National Union Party.

According to the electoral law, the complaining party must deposit 1 million kyat (USD 1,176) and file a lawsuit within 60 days of the polling date. A number of parties have said they lacked the funds to file complaints.

NDF candidate Bauk Ja filed a complaint against the winning Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) candidate, Ohn Myint, in Phakant Township in Kachin State on January 7. The commission has set a hearing for January 26 in election tribunal No. 15.

‘Ohn Myint himself fixed the date for the hearing at Naypyidaw. The UEC informed my lawyer that Ohn Myint fixed this date by fax’, said Bauk Ja. Ohn Myint is a former general who resigned to stand as a USDP candidate.

In her complaint, Bauk Ja alleged that the USDP brought absentee ballot papers to polling booths, conducted campaign activities within 50 yards of polling booths, ticked ballots for their party on behalf of the voters and posted campaign posters next to polling booths.

USDP candidate and writer Myat Thu filed a complaint against Dr. Myat Nyar Na Soe, the winning NDF party candidate in Rangoon Division for the House of Nationalities No. 4 seat.

As per the electoral law, the defendant must submit his or her written statement within four days before the court hearing. Myat Nyar Na Soe said that all the allegations made against him are incorrect.

The allegations say Myat Nya Na Soe made slanderous and malicious attacks against the USDP party in his election campaign, obstructed casting absentee votes in some townships, conducted electoral malpractices at polling booths and placed ballot boxes in the wrong order in some polling booths.

‘Everybody knows I didn’t do anything wrong’, said Myat Nya Na Soe. ‘All their allegations do not hold water, but I must prove this point with sound evidence. If I really committed wrongdoings and malpractices as they alleged I would be worried, but all their allegations do not amount to electoral malpractices. So I will defend myself’, he said.

He said he would submit his written statement on Thursday. Election tribunal No. 28 will hear the case on January 26. Lawyer Myint Thwin from Mandalay Division will represent Myat Nya Na Soe.

Thein Maung, a losing USDP candidate in the Rathetaung Township constituency in Rakhine State, filed a suit against winning candidate Hla Maung Thein of the RNDP, alleging electoral fraud. His suit will be heard on Thursday.

The Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics and the 88-Generation Student and Youths (Union of Myanmar) parties have registered a total 28 cases at respective police stations, but these cases had yet to be taken up.

‘In fact, these cases should have been handled already, but the authorities didn’t handle them seriously. If the law might be counterproductive for them, they don’t abide by their own laws’, said Aye Lwin, the chairman of the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics.

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