Myanmar Armed Force Commander In Chief Disappointed Elections to Be Held in Rakhine State and Wa Autonomous Region Despite Arakan Army Welcomes the Election

General Min Aung Hlaing meeting with 32 opposition political party's leaders in Naypytaw on August 15 and discussed  what is his role to intervene if the election is not free and fair. 
AN. Sittway. August 16, 2020

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander in chief Myanmar Armed Force, disappointed Union Election Commission that announced it would hold election in Rakhine State and Wa autonomous region in November in spite of the military opposition.

The commander in chief told leaders from 32 opposition political parties during the meeting at military headquarter in Naypyataw on August 15 that the military had already given security details and recommendation to the election commission not to hold elections in Rakhine State and Wa region due to militarily hostility, ongoing war, and insecurity.

Military and its proxy political party, Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), invited leaders from 31 political parties, including Rakhine intra ethnic parties of Mro and Khaman, to the military headquarter in Naypaytaw and discussed variety of issues prior to the election in November. 

The discussion included how military would response if the election was not free and fair and when election result was unclear and confusion. 

Analysts assumed that some political parties are encouraging the military to intervene formation of post election government.

Arakan Army along with three brotherhood alliance issued a statement on July 21 and said the rebel groups would help every possible way to hold successful elections in their regions, including northern parts of Rakhine State where Myanmar army and Arakan Army has been fighting since 2019. 

Chin Cable Network Channel (CCN) interviewed AA commander General Tun Myat Naing on July 12. He explained wide range of issues including election in Rakhine State. He said he supported the election. 

“Previously, we said government ought to talk to us in order to have smooth election in Rakhine State. But we decided we will have effective unilateral ceasefire for the election going through even though the government does not want to talk to us,” General Tun Myat Naing said. 
He said, “It is not we are so much believing in the electoral politic process of Myanmar, but when we look at the current political trend and if the intensive military clashes are going on constantly, the election process will be somehow hindering. In our own view, we ought to support the election in order to elect representatives by the people for those who can speak up for their constituencies. If there is no representative, it is very difficult, especially in the conflict zone, for the people who need their representatives to truly speak up for their burden and suffering.”
It is not very clear why General Min Aung Hlaing does not want to have elections in Rakhine State and Wa Autonomous Region despite AA and Wa are welcoming. 

Analysts raise concern over the military top brass and his intervening in political parties before the election and preaching them his political stand that he said he does ‘not afraid to do anything but watching on the country’s security and disintegration.’

The analysts predict that the military boss will back up USDP to form a collation government after the election and if Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, National League for Democracy (NLD), does win landslide in November. 

“Min Aung Hlaing does not like Wa and Rakhine parties that will win the election in their own territories because these ethnic will not back up the military and its interest to form a collation government wherein the military is willing to have a full control. 


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