What do they say about the upcoming junta election?
The military council, which is preparing to hold the general election again nationwide, has already started the updating the census on January 9. Locals say the census is being conducted under full military guard in Sagaing Region and the border area between Sagaing and Kachin, where fighting is taking place.
Revolutionary forces from Katha, Tigyaing, Indaw, and Banmauk Townships were interviewed to learn whether the upcoming election by the military council is practical, and if so, to what extent it could be successful and what the general situation of the election is.
An official of Banmauk Revolution-BR, Banmauk Township
“We have heard that they’re trying by all means to make the election in Banmauk successful. But even if they want to hold the election there, they can only hold it in four wards in the downtown area, including Myanandar, Myoma and Aungthargone. At the moment, they aren’t able to compile the household lists in the villages. In Banmauk Township, there are 244 villages, of which more than 200 are in areas that we control. In these villages, there are administrators that we have appointed. So people won’t accept those who aren’t appointed by them. Personally, I think they can have the votes of the residents. But our forces have plans to prevent this unfair election in every possible way.”
A member of Tigyaing Township administration (PDF)
“In our township, there are only three areas that the military council can reach to establish the voter lists. These are downtown area of Tigyaing, Myataung village, and Maunggone rural administrative unit. We’ll make sure that they cannot compile voter lists in other places. They’re no longer able to control areas other than those closest to them. In Tigyaing, there are 31 village tracts, of which we control 26. If any of them comes and persuades people to vote, we’ll act accordingly.”
A member of Local Defense Force in Katha Township
“The military council can only compile the voter list in the downtown area. Still, they pretend to check the household lists or read the electricity meters, all under the protection of the junta. It’s not easy for them to compile the voter list because they can be attacked with explosives by the urban guerrillas. In Katha Township, it won’t be easy for them to hold the election successfully because our resistance forces have taken large parts of the township under our control. There are ten wards and it’s not possible for them to successfully hold the election in all of them. They even seized power from the winning party in the 2020 election, accusing them of electoral fraud where the voter rolls were created during times of stability. At a time like this, when resistance forces across the country are fighting against them, how much will they be able to get the voter lists correct? And the population continues to believe that it’ll just be a wasted election.”
Information Officer of Indaw Revolution – IR
“They have come and collected the household lists in the downtown wards, but they haven’t covered all the wards here. They could force the election, but I don’t think they can do that successfully in Indaw Township because we have already taken 80 percent of the township. The only place they can go now is downtown. Maybe they want to use the election as a political way out. People don’t have confidence in this election, so they won’t vote.”
Sent by KNG.