The Ta’ang National Party (TNP) refused to join an agreement signed by other parties opposing the Union Election Commission’s (EC) decision to stop the election in Mong Kung Township.
“When our party tries to campaign in villages, residents are threatened,” Mai Nom Han, TNP chair for Mong Kung Township, told SHAN. “We didn’t sign the deal because there was no security for us during the election campaign. And it’s not fair.” Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army soldiers stopped their campaigners from traveling to villages, he said.
On October 17, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Shan Nationalities Development, National League for Democracy, Union Solidarity and Development Party, Ta’ang National Party agreed to voice their dissent against the cancelation of the race in the township.
The Mong Kung Township Election Commission (EC) sent a report on the matter to the district-level EC.
Even though there have been no clashes, the Union-Level EC stopped the election in townships in southern Shan State.
“It shouldn’t have happened,” Sai Seng Mueng, a parliamentarian for Mong Kung Township, told SHAN. “The UEC needs to allow the election in Mong Kung Township to proceed…People have the right to vote.”
But the Shan State EC said it was unlikely for the UEC to retract its decision, allowing polling in the township.
According to an October 16 statement released by the President’s Office, the election was canceled due to violence, interference, threats, hate speech, regional instability caused by racial and religious discrimination and other illegal activities.
Over 56,000 eligible voters in Mong Kung Township are affected by the cancelation, according to Shan State EC.