The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) has come out in opposition to a Union Election Commission (UEC) decision to cancel voting in Burma’s general election in multiple constituencies throughout Shan State.
Voting will not take place at all in six townships, and only partially in 17 townships in the state, according to a UEC announcement.
The townships where the election has been fully canceled are Mongla, Panghsang, Ner Hparn, Mong Mao, Pangwai, and Mong Kurng.
There will also be no voting in 133 village tracts and eight wards in Kyaukme, Nawngkhio, Namhsan, Manton, Mong Hkag, Mong Yang, Mong Hpyet, Mong Yawng, Kutkai, Muse, Makmang, Mongton, Tangyan, Lashio, Kunlong, Kong Zarng and Hopang townships.
SNLD joint general secretary 1 of Sai Kyaw Nyunt questioned the UEC’s decision that these areas were “unstable.”
“Voting is an essential basic right for citizens. It is also a basic human right. If they don’t have enough evidence or reliable reasons, they should not cancel the election in those constituencies,” he told SHAN.
Sai Kyaw Nyunt also pointed out how some of the areas were expected to be SNLD strongholds, such as Mong Kung, where the SNLD won representation in the 2015 general election. There will be no representative elected for Mong Kurng in the 2020 election, scheduled for November 8.
“From the perspective of the people, they cannot elect their representatives in this election. The people have suffered a lot,” he said.
The SNLD general secretary said that the party would continue to hold negotiations with township election commissions on this matter.