Union Election Commission urged to include ethnic nationalities
05 February 2014: The Nationalities Brotherhood Federation (NBF) has urged inclusion of ethnic representation in the Union Election Commission to ensure fairness in the upcoming 2015 General Election.
In its statement on 2 February, the umbrella organization of 20 ethnic political parties said that the inclusion of ethnic scholars and leaders in the UEC is vital for a ‘free and fair’ election to take place in the country.
Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, an NBF member, said: “It is essential that the 2015 General Election be held free and fair. But it is now worrying that an increasing number of members from military backgrounds have been added.”
“UEC Chairman U Tin Aye has said it will be free and fair; but actually, we don’t want to see what happened during the 2010 General Election repeat itself in 2015. We have also raised our concerns over the need to make amendments to election laws. What is more important is to do what is needed instead of just making verbal promises,” added General Secretary of the Chin National Party.
The seven-point statement also said that ethnic leaders respected and approved by the majority must be involved across different levels of the UEC.
On 11 March 2010, the UEC members, with its first and current chairmen being ex-military leaders, had been directly appointed by the State Peace and Development Council, the then military government of Burma.
“The UEC members during the 1990 General Election included many respected ethnic leaders. But ethnic leaders included in 2010 were from within their [authorities] circles and it was obvious that they were not independent,” added Thawng.
Delegates from the NBF member parties held their 17th regular meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on 1-2 February 2014.#