April 15, 2024

ANFREL: Stop Myanmar Coup, Resolve Disputes in Electoral Courts!

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) condemns the Myanmar armed forces (Tatmadaw) which carried out a government coup as well as the kidnapping and detention of political opponents (Bangkok, 2/2). The Asian regional election monitoring organization urged Tatmadaw to release the prisoners and all election fraud to be resolved through the electoral court.

ANFREL reminded Tatmadaw that a military coup is against democracy. Myanmar’s constitution and electoral law provide a means of resolving disputes through electoral courts. The United Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) which is supported by Tatmadaw has the constitutional right to resolve disputes over election results to the judiciary based on all claims of fraud.

According to ANFREL, electoral dispute resolution is an integral part of any electoral process, and relies on the fundamental premise that all parties act in good faith. The road to a complete democracy is long and difficult. Because of this, strong commitment of stakeholders is essential to uphold and protect democratic norms.

If the coup is carried out, Myanmar’s democracy will retreat from a repeat of the 1990 election coup. All anti-democratic practices at that time resulted in low trust in Myanmar’s democracy and government from the Myanmar national and international community.

ANFREL’s statement of stance is a concerned response to what is happening in Myanmar. The Tatmadaw carried out a coup attempt because they considered the Myanmar elections a lot of fraud. The Tatmadaw coup involved the kidnapping and detention of political opponents including State Advisor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and Chair of the General Election Commission U Hla Thein, as well as pro-democracy activists and politicians from other parties.