Sunday, June 23, 2024

SAC’s Electoral Plans are at Stalemate

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On the 23rd of last month, Myanmar’s state-owned MRTV aired an interview with a Russian news agency in which the State Administration Council leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing declared that the forthcoming election would be conducted in rigorous adherence to legal protocols. He delineated the initiation of a voter survey planned for 2024 as an initial step toward ensuring readiness for the upcoming election.

Despite this, his present stance is in contrast to his earlier declarations, which were released on the first anniversary of the military rebellion and assured every constituency in the country of an inclusive electoral process.

Again, following the initial announcement on the second anniversary, in 2023, it was proposed that elections be held concurrently at the regional and state levels, with a specific focus on ensuring consistency in the scheduling of constituencies, especially in rural areas.

On January 31, 2024, however, on the occasion of the coup’s third anniversary, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing acknowledged that it was impractical to conduct elections under the current conditions.

This admission occurred concurrently with modifications to the electoral system, which involved putting off the scheduling of by-elections in specific constituencies.

In addition, the electoral agenda of the SAC encountered substantial obstacles, causing the election committee to be reformed and a new chairperson to be appointed. This is because their effort to eliminate opposition parties failed. For example, the SAC implemented strict laws about electoral participation. However, the opposition parties declined to adhere to their new registration requirements.

Additionally, they have attempted to gain the support of allied parties through the use of incentives, specifically business concessions, in order to gain their loyalty. Their strategy, however, proved to be ineffectual.

Furthermore, the decline in the SAC’s influence is evident in its loss of control over more than two hundred military bases and sixty municipalities nationwide. Therefore, the ongoing disputes hinder the SAC’s ability to effectively execute its electoral strategy.

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