Myanmar junta bars 2 ethnic parties from planned election

The election commission has rejected 6 party applications for the 2025 poll.
By RFA Burmese
Myanmar junta bars 2 ethnic parties from planned election Kachin National Congress Party campaigning on Nov 3, 2020, ahead of national elections
Facebook: Kachin National Congress

Myanmar’s junta-led election organizer has rejected the applications of two ethnic minority political parties to run in a general election expected next year, the junta-backed Myanmar Alin newspaper reported.

The Union Election Commission barred both the Democracy and Human Rights Party, founded by the mainly-Muslim Rohingya group, and the Kachin National Congress Party, representing the Kachin people, from its proposed 2025 election.

The commission told junta-backed newspapers that the Democracy and Human Rights Party was barred because it did not comply with the branding and policy requirements of the Political Parties Registration Law, but it didn’t specify which point the group had violated.

The party’s secretary general, Kyaw Soe Aung, told Radio Free Asia that it had not received any specific information from the commission.

“The Union Election Commission has not yet responded to us in detail, so it is difficult to say,” he said on Tuesday. “We have to see if we will be allowed to amend the violations we were rejected for.”

The Democracy and Human Rights party has resurfaced multiple times throughout the country’s complicated political history. It was founded in 1989 and won four seats in a 1990 election, after which it dissolved and re-registered in 2013.

party -3.jpg
A Democracy and Human Rights Party spokeswoman gives a speech on Sept. 21, 2020. (Junta Ministry of Information )

The Kachin National Congress Party, which was founded in 1949, was barred from the election under Section 6 of the political party law, which prohibits groups from carrying out speeches or campaigns that cause ethnic conflict. 

In 2021, Kachin National Congress Chairman M. Kawn La criticized Chinese investment on social media and was sentenced to two years in prison under notorious defamation laws. He was released in 2023. 

The party did not respond to RFA’s inquiries by the time of publication. 


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In November 2020, the National League for Democracy party, led by the now-jailed Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi, swept to power in a general election. However, the following February, the military overthrew the civilian-led government claiming the election was invalid due to voter fraud and incorrect voter registration lists.

The junta is expected to extend a state of emergency imposed since the 2021 coup for another six months on Aug. 1. A sixth extension of emergency rule would push back the date of an election as the constitution mandates that an election must be held within six months after a state of emergency is lifted.

Opponents of military rule say the junta’s promised election will be a sham given that the country’s most popular political leader, Suu Kyi, has been jailed for 27 years on charges she denies, and the election organizer has banned more than 80 parties from any political activity.

Junta leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing told Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency in March he planned to hold elections if and when peace and stability could be restored, although he did not set a date.

In early October, junta officials will hold a census to draw up voting lists for a general election to be held in 2025, according to Min Aung Hlaing’s statements to junta-backed newspapers. 

On Jan. 26, 2023, the junta amended the political party law, to require that all parties re-register under the military regime within 60 days.

The election commission says it has accepted the applications of 49 parties and rejected six. Recently, the commission banned the Rakhine state based Arakan National Party on the grounds that it was engaged in activities that supported terrorism.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Kiana Duncan and Mike Firn. 


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