13. Firstly, U Maung Maung Tun, reporter of Voice of Myanmar (VOM), asked where the ballot papers were printed. How many numbers of ballots were printed? Who is the supervisor of this process? Was it conducted under a tender system or by UEC?
14. UEC member U Khin Maung Oo explained that relevant matters are also presented in former press conferences. All the ballots of 2010 and 2015 elections and by-elections are also ordered at the Ministry of Information as they are important. The order numbers were 139,331,120. The UEC also cooperated in this printing process. The ballots were printed in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw Tatkon. The printing staff of MoI and director-level representative of UEC monitored the processes, including examining the ballots papers and also jointly granted the ballots.
15. Dr Zaw Than, reporter of Sankei Shimbun news agency, said he noticed the question of another reporter regarding the PR system of UEC in the former press conference. He asked about the potential of the PR system and how would the circumstance change if that system has good potential?
16. U Khin Maung Oo replied that Myanmar is currently adopting the FPTP system. When the officials met with the political party on 26 February 2021, the parties also proposed a PR system convenient with the country. Such a case was also briefed in the previous conferences. The officials also informed the political parties to send the papers regarding with PR system. Meanwhile, three political parties replied to them with documents about this system. The PR system is not a new one. A Hluttaw MP also urged the Hluttaw to decide for using PR system and carry out law amendment processes and UEC to practice the PR system during the first Amyotha Hluttaw session. The motion was accepted at Amyotha Hluttaw, and a commission on the PR system was formed. There were also reports to the commission. About ten political parties submitted letters to use the PR system instead of the FPTP system in the first Hluttaw Term. The PR system means the broad area of the constituency and designates the numbers of candidates. Then, the system selects the representatives in a ratio based on the votes of the candidates of political parties or independent candidates. There are various PR systems in the world.
There are about three systems mainly used in 80 countries. Therefore, the country should use a system that conforms with the Constitution, forming a government and political affairs. The three PR systems are Party List Proportional Representation System, Mix Member Proportional System and Single Transferable Vote (STV). Among these three systems, the first two are mostly common. The final one is not widespread in use for some issues like calculating or complexity. If the PR system is used, one should study such necessary things as the Constitution, whether they are in conformity with the Hluttaw Election Law; whether they are needed to be amended, effectiveness on self-administer division and zones according to the 2008 Constitution, the situation of Pyithu Hluttaw, Amyotha Hluttaw, Region/State Hluttaw to adapt the PR system, designation of constituencies which are convenient with PR system, calculation system on the ratio of parties and representatives, and voting results.
There are also procedures for it. It needs to hold coordination meetings with the relevant department and stakeholders like parties, civilian organizations. It needs to draft, amend and release the law and rules. It needs to provide pieces of training to the members of the sub-commission and poll heads. It also should raise public awareness for the voters. In practical sectors, systematic measures play a crucial role. In conclusion, the system, which is suitable for the country and is simple to understand for the voters, should be used. The initial findings are currently displayed, and efforts are being made by cooperating with the relevant political parties and organizations.
In conclusion, the system, which is suitable for the country and is simple to understand for the voters, should be used. The initial findings are currently displayed, and efforts are being made by cooperating with the relevant political parties and organizations.
17. Dr Soe Myint Oo, editor-in-charge of Myanmar Public Press, raised the question of whether vote-rigging affects the parties. How is these parties’ existence in coming elections? Can the new parties make registration and when?
18. U Khin Maung Oo said that one-third of voting frauds and findings in inspections are released to date. But some of the cases are left to announce. But about half of the cases have already released. So the situation is just on the inspection by reviewing the overall vote-rigging and manipulation. For the registration of parties, there were announcements of former UEC. They once issued a large state when the 2020 General Election drew near, and they also said the registration was not allowed later that period. The current UEC will also release the information regarding the party registrations.
19. Editor-in-Chief Amet Dain of Ye Ye Tauk Journal commented that the country is under the state of emergency. The first thing is that the President has the authority to assign UEC according to the Constitution. But all the election-related matters are concerned with the UEC’s decision, and so due to such weakness, the elderly have extreme beliefs on the President and UEC. Therefore, such deficiency can cause the loss of democracy in the country. None of the significant changes of UEC are seen in holding the election with which way according to the Constitution. Therefore, it is conducted with a PR system, and it can maintain democracy. Some of the parties are interested in this issue. Therefore, does the UEC have the plan to start that system by negotiating with the parties? When will the UEC meet with the parties?
20. U Khin Maung Oo replied that the UEC Chairman has already discussed this issue during the meeting with the parties on 26 February. The PR papers are accepted, and the officials will discuss these papers during the next 2 or 3 months. Then, all will coordinate for this issue. Therefore, the progress in this period will be announced soon.
21. The Editor-in-Chief of Ye Ye Tauk Journal continued that the country is far from a democratic pathway for another reason. The point is that there were parties who ran in the election with foreign assistance. I will present one piece of evidence for this case. On 10 April 2019, US Ambassador Scot Marciel once said in his speech, “There is no support to Myanmar but the US provided $950 million to NLD” during the stake-driving ceremony for the US Embassy Liaison Office in Nay Pyi Taw. Although I thought it was National Democratic Party and the party Chair U Soe Maung also opposed this issue. The next reason is that, the US embassy provided $46 million in the election period. But that time, the UEC Chairman said they did not receive any financial assistance. Then, the NLD’s spokesperson said the processes are being conducted in the scope of government authority, and the government will manage this issue. In reality, Monwya Aung Shin is not the representative of the government and is just representative of the party. He made a response in this case and talked about the financial management system of government. But there is no objection to UEC in this case. Therefore, these facts are the main reason that the country is far from a democratic pathway. How is the plan of the current UEC regarding these issues?
22. Then, U Khin Maung Oo said the Constitution stated Chapter 9 – Election, Chapter 10 — Political Parties and Chapter 11 — Provisions on the State of Emergency. But we are concerned with Chapter 9 and 10. In Constitution, it includes only six sections for political parties. Similarly, there are also Political Party Registration Law and Rules. In this law, a party must follow the stipulations of Section 6, and if they break Section 12, they have no right to subsist. However, the primary source is stipulated in the Constitution, and it is Section 407. If a political party infringe one of the following stipulations, it shall have no right of continued existence: (a. having been declared an unlawful association under the existing law;
b. directly or indirectly contacting or abetting the insurgent group launching an armed rebellion against the Union or the associations and persons determined by the Union to have committed terrorist acts or the association declared to be an unlawful association;
c. directly or indirectly receiving and expending financial, material and other assistance from a foreign government, a religious association, other association or a person from a foreign country;
d. abusing religion for political purpose. Therefore, if the commission received solid evidence, actions will be taken in accordance with the law.)
23. The Chief Editor of Ye Ye Tauk Journal also said the term of the State Administration Council is one year. The UEC should carry No (1) and No (5) out of the five future work programmes of the Council. Although it has been three months in carrying out the No (1) programme, it just completed only half of the process.
The public wants to know about abolishing parties that are not pursuant to the election law and rules, reviewing the new parties, amendment of election law, and work plans as the elections draw near. Does the UEC have a timetable for these processes, and how is the schedule?
24. U Khin Maung Oo explained the work plans in implementing the No (1) out of five future work programmes of the SAC. Then, the UEC reviews the PR system, including the Constitution and election law in a timely manner. The outcomes and decisions will also be announced to the public later.
25. Editor-in-Chief of NP News (National Post) U Kyaw Myo Win said the SAC has already announced the holding of the election. But what will happen if the people have no trust in this election or do not accept the holding of an election, or do they not cast their votes, or do most of the parties not compete in the election?
26. U Khin Maung Oo said there are law and rules in every process. There are also procedures for election and work plans to be conducted in the election period. But they will be carried out in line with the law and rules. They also have full provisions.
27. Editor-in-Chief of NP News (National Post) U Kyaw Myo Win asked if the proper numbers of people cast votes, the election would be a successful election.
29. U Khin Maung Oo continued that the UEC will announce in accord with the election process while other officials will register the lists. But the UEC has not faced such a situation yet, and the previous elections were also successfully held despite the challenges. Therefore, the UEC will carry out in accordance with the law, rules and guidelines for the coming election.
29. The journalist of Pyidaungsu Daily Newspaper U Ko Ko Lwin said he would ask about public healthcare regarding CDM. There are CDMs and Non-CDMs currently. For example, if there are many doctors like a doctor from Kan Htoo Ma station hospital of Taze Township, how will the SAC appreciate them? How will the SAC take action against the healthcare staff who fail to enter their duties despite the warnings of SAC?
30. Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun said the Non-CDM doctor from Kan Htoo Ma station hospital did not join CDM not because of the government but because of the patients. The government also think that the government employees must serve the interests of the public no matter what the government is. But they have the right to show their attitude, such as they are satisfied with the government or not.
The government also refers to such an attitude. All the operations from the rank of clerk to senior officials are professional ones. And so they must have professional manners. The SAC also presents prizes to dutiful employees and provides assistance to the staff of ministries, especially in the Thingyan period. The government and ministries operate the machine as normal. In health sectors, although there are weaknesses, it can work in full soon as the military medics participate in this sector. The government employees should perform their duties in professional ways.
31. Then, reporter U Ko Ko Lwin said the quick arrest of suspects under Section 505 and other Sections is needed, and it also needs to take actions against them. Some of the destructive manners can be seen in some wards and villages. Although the suspects who commit incitement to affect the stability of State are announced in state-run newspapers, MRTV and MWD, there are very few numbers of audience. He asked if there were plans to publish vinyl photos in each township.
32. Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun appreciated his advice. He also said there are also suggestions regarding the cases occurring at a low level. The SAC knows about social bullying and threats. The SAC knows everything is happening at the lower level. The officials investigate the cases and seek confirmations. He also admitted that they could not offer complete safety in these cases. But the SAC is making efforts for safety and tranquillity across the nation.
These are the cooperation work between the international countries and the government’s performance just in March. Therefore, recognition or non-recognition are just the words of unscrupulous persons. The SAC has the proper relationship between the international countries and neighbouring countries. The government exercises independent and active foreign policy.
33. Correspondent U Thwin Htoo Aung of ONE News said some international community does not recognize the current situation. He then asked whether there was cooperation between international countries.
34. Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun replied that the one-month performance is being broadcast via MRTV and MWD per month. Therefore, international relations will be one of these performances. The 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting was held on 1 April via video conferencing, and Union Minister for International Cooperation U Ko Ko Hlaing joined the meeting. Then, they discussed the cooperation, infrastructure development, effective work plans, cooperated areas and sub-areas, implementation of decisions made by submitting an approval of fund. On the same day, Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Aung Naing Oo attended the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting. He discussed the important role of private sectors in region economy integration, cooperation work in processes of ASEAN Business Advisory Council in 2021, the commitment of Myanmar to carry out the international agreements in accord with the stipulated laws and to safeguard the businesses allowed in the former government term and priority sectors in solving the difficulties of permitted businesses. On 5 March, Vice-Chairman of SAC Vice-Senior General Soe Win met with the US Ambassador via video conferencing while Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin met with Japanese Ambassador on 8 March and Vice-Chairman of SAC Vice-Senior General Soe Win discussed with the Head of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) via video conferencing on 9 March. Moreover, the 11th ASEAN Military Operation Meeting was held via video conferencing on 10 March. Union Minister for Information U Chitt Naing and party also attended the 15th ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information Meeting and exchanged views on ASEAN: A Digital Community with Accessibility for All. Then, the 46th regular meeting of the Human Rights Council was also held on 11 March. The Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs U Chan Aye sent his video message and joined the meeting online. Moreover, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin met with Brunei’s Foreign Minister via video conference.
The Chairman of SAC Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services joined the 18th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces’ Meeting online. The Deputy Defence Minister of the Russia Federation attended the 76th Armed Forces Day. These are the cooperation work between the international countries and the government’s performance just in March. Therefore, recognition or non-recognition are just the words of unscrupulous persons. The SAC has the proper relationship between the international countries and neighbouring countries. The government exercises independent and active foreign policy.
To be continued.