Tuesday, July 25, 2017

USDP candidate in NPT accused of electoral violation

Police in Nay Pyi Taw are investigating an allegation that a local candidate for the Union Solidarity and Development Party has been calling on supporters not to vote for the National League for Democracy on religious grounds, a violation of electoral law.

The allegation was made by the NLD candidate for Nay Pyi Taw’s Dekkhinathiri township, Daw Than Than Soe, against U Zaw Weik, the associate secretary of the USDP in the township.

“The allegation was made on October 5 under section 58(c) of the Election Law,” Police Corporal Aung Yaw Moe said. “Police Captain Soe Win is investigating.”

The complaint concerns a six-page pamphlet allegedly distributed by U Zaw Weik on September 10 addressed to “monks and people who love their own race and religion”.

U Zaw Weik could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The pamphleteering has apparently had some success however, as the NLD said their canvassing in the area was met with hostility.

“U Zaw Weik and his supporters handed out these pamphlets in Htantabin and surrounding villages, and in Doenwe village tract, in spite of our warnings. When we campaigned in those villages, people called us ‘dogs’. We have now complained to the police about this breach of electoral law,” said U Thant Zin Tun, another local NLD candidate.

He added that Daw Than Than Soe also filed a separate complaint against USDP candidate U Myint Hlaing, former minister for agriculture and irrigation, and independent candidate U Kyaw Win under section 58(a) of the Election Law concerning bribery, but neither the police nor the Union Electoral Commission has taken any action.

Candidates for the NLD, the USDP and the National Unity Party are contesting Dekkhinathiri township, a military stronghold which has 15 polling stations and more than 17,000 eligible voters, pending the issue of a finalised voters list.

Translation by Thiri Min Htun