Myanmar officially annuls poll that military says was marred by fraud

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Myanmar gripped by general strike
Myanmar gripped by general strike

Almost six months after its coup ousted the civilian government, the military junta in Myanmar has officially declared the results of the November 2020 general election invalid.

The military seized control on February 1 following an election on November 8 that the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was the nation’s de facto leader, won in a landslide.

Yet the armed forces claimed fraud, despite observers saying there was no evidence of irregularities. It had been only the second democratic vote since Myanmar emerged from military rule in 2011.

The coup was staged just as a new parliamentary session was about to get to work. Suu Kyi was arrested along with other political leaders in a series of raids and the military declared a state of emergency.

Now, months later, Thein Soe, the head of the election commission appointed by the army, told the state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar that the election results had been rendered void.

The election was not in accordance with the constitution and election law because it was not free and fair, he claimed.

A party member from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) told dpa that the nullification had long been expected.

“We already expected that. They will do whatever they can. They have been doing worse things than nullifying the election’s results.”

Since the coup, the South East Asian country has been mired in chaos and violence.

Hundreds of opponents of the junta have been killed after months of protests against the coup were brutally put down.

Meanwhile, Myanmar’s already fragile health system is contending with a severe wave of the coronavirus. Many citizens do not get tested or treated in state hospitals for fear of the military.

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