A spokesman for the military junta in Myanmar told VOA’s Burmese service that there is considerable uncertainty over whether the country will hold general elections this year. He cited voter registration issues and increasing opposition attacks across the country as reasons.
When pressed on the matter in a telephone interview, Major General Jaw Min Tun said, “I cannot say for sure right now. All I can say is that we are working hard to hold elections this year. However, various ‘subversive activities’ are going on.”
The junta, known as the Committee Representing the Piedangsu Hluttaw, or CRPH, declared an exiled parliament illegal. At one point they also issued a state of emergency lasting for several months.
Jao Min Tun added, “The NUG, its parliamentary group CRPH and some foreign groups say they do not recognize the election.”
The NUG was formed by deposed Myanmar officials and some ethnic leaders who opposed the junta and supported the armed resistance movement. The junta has labeled the NUG a terrorist group.
A CRPH spokesman told VOA the junta, formally known as the State Administrative Council or SAC, is looking for any reason to stay in power.
“What we can see is that they are trying to show that even if they try to hold elections according to the constitution, in reality it will not be possible because of all these obstacles, and they will continue to rule under martial law,” said CRPH spokesperson See Thu Mong. must go.”
He further said, “Information has been received from the SAC that they are facing obstacles in the census work for the elections.”
It is not at all clear who will be the candidate, or when the election will be held.
In response to the coup, the United States imposed sanctions against Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
US State Department Counselor Derek Chole said in an interview with VOA last week that there is “no chance” that the proposed elections in Myanmar will be free and fair.
Myanmar’s ruling military leader, Min Aung Hlaing, announced detailed plans for the election on January 4 at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of independence from Britain.
In his speech at the event in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, Min Aung Hlaing said, “After the implementation of the emergency provisions, free and fair elections will be held in line with the 2008 Constitution and further work will be done to transfer state power to the winning party according to democratic standards.”
See Thu Maung, however, said, “We understand that an election is usually announced six months in advance. If the SAC wants to hold elections in August, as many have predicted, they need to announce it now, ie by January. And they will find some alternative or means to extend their rule in the interim period before the elections.”