Burma President Wants Election Held in Rakhine State

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

President Win Myint requested that polling be held in Rakhine State constituencies, which were canceled during the November 8 race.

“We feel upset for the local people because we couldn’t hold a free and fair election in some of the constituencies in Rakhine State for security reasons,” the president wrote in his facilitation letter for the 46th anniversary of Rakhine State Day.

Win Myint called on all regional elected officials and organizations to ensure there is stability in the state so that an election could be held as soon as possible.

In a letter also sent by Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, he welcomed the cooperation of the Arakan Army (AA) for polling to be reinstated in the state’s canceled constituencies before the end of 2020. Interestingly, this time the commander-in-chief of the Burma Army did not refer to the ethnic armed organization as a terrorist group in his facilitation letter.

Last March, the Burma government declared the EAO a terrorist group and an unlawful association. The Tatmadaw has been fighting with AA in Rakhine and southern Chin states since 2015

On December 9, representatives for the Burma Army met with AA at Pangsang, where they discussed the election, a ceasefire and the peace process.

Out of 17 townships in Rakhine State, polling was completely eliminated in nine of them. They include Pauktaw, Ponnagyun, Rathedaung, Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Kyauktaw, Minbya, Myebon and Mrauk-U. For the remaining 8 townships, polling was canceled in some wards.

Of the 1,649,753 eligible voters in Rakhine State, only 448,852 were able to vote, according to the Rakhine State Election Commission. There were 1,200,901 citizens who lost the opportunity to participate in a democracy.