The Myanmar Military Wants To Audit Political Parties

As part of its audit plan, Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC) has unveiled plans to examine the financial records of the country’s political parties.
The UEC, which annulled the results of the last election in July, has ordered parties to prepare their financial records for inspection, which some suspect will be used to disband certain parties.
The commission has not yet set a date for the audit.
After the UEC annulled the election, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy general secretary Sai Leik questioned its motivation. It is pointless to ask for a list of expenses for each candidate, he said.
As a result of a surge in Covid-19 cases, Tha Tun Hla, chairman of the Arakan National Party (ANP), said some people may find it difficult to follow the UEC’s directive.
A well-prepared political party has no problems, according to him. Junta may intend to make use of the powers enshrined in the Political Parties Act, such as the right to dissolve political parties if they cannot submit their financial statements.”
Parties that fail to comply with certain sections of the Political Parties Registration Law can be suspended for 30 years or dissolved permanently.
Win Maung, the Mandalay Region chairperson of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), said the party had not been instructed to prepare for an audit.e People’s Party, said he did not yet know what the junta’s intentions were.
“It is still unclear whether the military council has made it mandatory for political parties to deal with its UEC, or if it will really take concrete action regarding the financial matters of the parties,” he said.
Tun Myint, an ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker, said the party would not follow the UEC’s directive because the junta it serves is illegitimate.
The UEC formed by the violent military council is unrecognizable. Tun Myint also serves as secretary of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, which was formed in the wake of the coup by ousted MPs.
Thein Soe, who led the UEC during the rigged 2010 election that brought the USDP to power, was re-appointed as chairperson of the commission after February’s coup.
In May he announced plans to dissolve the NLD, citing unfounded claims by the military that the party had won its landslide victory in last year’s election through voter fraud.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the party’s detained leader, responded via her lawyers to the announcement by saying the NLD would continue to exist regardless of what the junta does.
While the junta has promised to hold fresh elections and allow the winner to take power, few have taken this promise seriously, while many in the anti-coup movement believe the NLD already won a legitimate election and should be immediately reinstated.

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