Election sub-commission members released after more than one month in detention

The military regime on Wednesday released all election sub-commission members who were detained following last month’s coup, state and township level election officials said.

The coup regime detained the state, regional and township-level sub-commission members on February 11, ten days after it seized power, and tried to justify the move with unsubstantiated claims of fraud during Myanmar’s 2020 general election. 

They members were released on Wednesday morning, confirming rumours on Tuesday that they would be freed.

State and regional commission members were detained at divisional military headquarters, while township level members were detained at guest quarters inside battalion bases.

Some members of township-level sub-commissions were made to sign a statement before their release confirming the military’s findings about voting irregularities in their areas during the November 8 poll, said a chair of a state-level sub-commission who asked not to be named.

But one member of a township sub-commission denied that they had to sign such a statement.

Kyi Myint, chair of the Yangon Region sub-commission, said that the military didn’t ask him to sign anything and there was no interrogation. 

“We were summoned and asked to take a rest,” Kyi Myint said.

He added that he didn’t know why the military had allowed them to go home. Nor did he know the situation of members of the union-level commission who were also detained.

Kin Khanh Pawng, chair of the township sub-commission in Kale, Sagaing, was detained in mid-February and was among those released on Wednesday. He said he was called in to help with data and paperwork.

“I had to help them find the data they wanted to see,” he said.

A new union election commission body was formed a day after the military seized state power and arrested civilian leaders on February 1.

The new commission met with 53 political parties on February 26 and officially annulled the results of the 2020 general election.

Another 38 registered parties did not attend that meeting. They include the Shan National League for Democracy, the Democratic Party for a New Society, and the People’s Party.




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