Myanmar ruling party claims poll irregularities

  • AFP, Yangon
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 07, 2012 01:55 IST
  • Supporters of the National League for Democracy

    Supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party cheer holding a portrait of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they watch increasing ...

  • An election official

    An election official shows ballots with votes for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy as votes are counted in Yangon. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

  • Aung San Suu Kyi

    Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party supporters cheer upon the party's announcement in Yangon, Myanmar. Supporters of Suu Kyi erupted in euphoric ...

  • National League for Democracy party

    A supporter of Myanmar's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, center, shouts slogans while others wait for the election result ...

  • Supporters of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi

    Supporters of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy gather outside the party headquarters as they wait to see the results ...

  • Aung San Suu Kyi

    Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi greets supporters as she travels through the constituency where she stands as a candidate in Kawhmu.  Voting began ...

  • Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

    Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles as she leaves after visiting a polling station in the constituency where she stands as a candidate ...

  • Aung San Suu Kyi

    Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves a polling station in her car in the village of Wah Thin Kha, Myanmar. AP/Altaf Qadri

  • Khin Nyunt

    Former Myanmar prime minister and military intelligence chief Khin Nyunt arrives to cast his vote at a polling station in Yangon. AFP/Ye Aung Thu

  • Voters

    Myanmar voters line up to cast their vote for by-election at a polling station in Dagon Seikkan Township, eastern part of Yangon. AP/Khin Maung Win

Myanmar’s army-backed ruling party on Friday said it would lodge an official complaint about poll irregularities after being trounced in by-elections by democracy opponents led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) claimed Suu Kyi’s party or its supporters were involved in some incidents, including campaigning too close to polling stations during Sunday’s by-elections.

Myanmar’s President Thein Sein had on Tuesday said that the elections were “successful”.

The allegations centre on Yangon and nearby Kawhmu, where Suu Kyi ran and won, but many claims were not explicitly directed at her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

Former Yangon mayor Aung Thein Linn said the complaints were not meant to question the credibility of the vote.

“We are objecting to the process, not the (opposition) party,” he told reporters.

Suu Kyi has vowed to press ahead with lodging her own complaints over irregularities against the NLD, despite an overwhelming win that saw the party take 43 of the 45 available seats.

The USDP won just one seat in parliament — the only one not contested by the NLD.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/4/07_04_pg17b.jpg

USDP candidate Soe Min, who was comprehensively beaten by the Nobel laureate in Kawhmu, complained that some people waved the NLD flag in front of his office in Kawhmu on election day, but said he was not sure if they were party members or ordinary supporters.

“I have two concrete complaints of ballot officers ticking ballot papers on behalf of voters,” added the former army doctor.

Other claims included advanced votes being cast without voters’ consent.

Myanmar President Thein Sein was at the head of the USDP when it swept to victory in 2010 elections that were marred by claims of cheating and the absence of Suu Kyi and her party.

Unlike in 2010, the Myanmar government allowed foreign observers and journalists to witness Sunday’s polls, although there was no comprehensive international monitoring of the campaign and vote.

A European official said her limited polling station tour showed “very encouraging” signs for the vote, which was broadly welcomed by the international community.

 

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