MoFA issues ‘Press Statement’on current situation of Myanmar

The Multiparty General Election of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was held on 8 November 2020 under the supervision of the Union Election Commission (UEC). There were reportedly some irregularities throughout the process of the Election.
In scrutinizing the official voter list issued by the UEC, the findings showed that over 10.4 million votes, about one-fourth of eligible voters, might have caused vote- rigging in the 2020 Multiparty General Election. The Tatmadaw has officially issued figures/tables on those findings for 30 times, statements on its position two times before the Election and four times after the Election. As there were irregularities in the electoral processes, 20 political parties issued 26 statements calling for the postponement of the Third Hluttaw Session until the voter lists in question are properly solved by the UEC. The UEC’s failure to address these calls resulted in 124 protests in 99 townships during the period between 10 November 2020 to 29 January 2021.
Furthermore, on 11 January 2021, some 203 Hluttaw Representatives from the Tatmadaw and political parties officially proposed to convene a Special Session of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw in accord with the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008). The proposal was rejected the next day. With the intention of accepting the credible election results that truly reflect the will of the people, the Tatmadaw and some political parties requested the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw or the Government or the UEC itself to address the voting irregularity issues. The Tatmadaw also called for the meeting of the National Defence and Security Council led by the President. The Tatmadaw undertook the above-mentioned tasks in accord with existing laws and procedures, including the State Constitution 2008, particularly Chapter I, Section 4, Section 6 and Section 7 of the Constitution. Section 4 stipulates that “The Sovereign power of the Union is derived from the citizens and is in force in the entire country”. Amongst the six Basic Principles of the Constitution, Section 6 (d) stipulates “flourishing of a genuine, disciplined multiparty democratic system” and Section 6 (f) mentions “enabling the Defence Services to be able to participate in the national political leadership role of the State”. In addition, Section 7 also stipulates that “The Union practises genuine, disciplined multiparty democratic system”.
The rejection of the previous Government to take action on repeated calls to address voting irregularities and frauds and to postpone the new Hluttaw meetings clearly violated Section 417 of the State Constitution 2008 that tantamount to the attempt to take the sovereignty of the Union by wrongful forcible means and to disintegrate national solidarity. Therefore, the Ordinance No. 1/2021 on 1 February 2021 was promulgated in accordance with Section 417 of the State Constitution 2008. The state of emergency was declared in the entire nation for one year with immediate effect and the “legislative, executive and judicial powers” of the State were transferred to the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services in accord with Section 418 (a) of the State Constitution.
Even in mature democracies, there have been incidents of electoral irregularities which are properly resolved. The negligence to fix the electoral irregularities would set precedence and cause a negative impact on Myanmar’s democratic practices in the long term. In light of such circumstances, the Tatmadaw was compelled to take State responsibilities in line with the State Constitution 2008. The Tatmadaw will continue to abide by the provisions of the State Constitution, practise the genuine and discipline-flourishing multiparty democracy which suits the prevailing situations of the country, hold free and fair general election and transfer State responsibilities to the winning political party.
As regards the handling of COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar, like other countries, will continue to exert utmost efforts to overcome the health and socio-economic challenges and to mitigate the negative socio-economic impact on the livelihood of the people for economic recovery. The Government will continue to work on the already-launched COVID-19 vaccination programme with added momentum. It will also continue to procure the vaccines through bilateral commercial arrangements and the COVAX Facility.
The Government will continue to strictly adhere to the independent, active and non-aligned foreign policy aimed at world peace and friendly relations with nations and uphold the principles of peaceful co-existence amongst nations. It will continue to maintain friendly relations with countries of the world, particularly with neighbouring countries on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. Myanmar reaffirms to continue to actively participate in the regional and multilateral fora, including the United Nations, ASEAN, BIMSTEC and Mekong-related organizations, and facilitate the assistance activities extended to the people of Myanmar. The Government reiterates its commitment to honouring the existing bilateral and multilateral agreements in line with the national interest of Myanmar and international obligations.—MNA

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