Attempts to alter electoral system to clip the democracy

N.B Chyoi / June 03, 2021

People’s Defense Force’s jungle camp / CJ

There have been continuous telecast since Feb 01, 2020, on junta controlled MRTV highlighting the irregularities committed in the November 2020 general elections, which led National League for Democracy (NLD) to landslide victory. It is an old saying that if the lie is repeatedly conveyed then at a certain stage it starts giving an impression of truth, may be to certain quarters.

Although the so called irregularities may have been concocted but it is difficult to be established as evidences or the people who can raise concerns have been put behind the bars against charges leading to years of imprisonment and ultimately making them politically defunct. Judiciary has basically become a tool of ruling class to fix their opponents and this is not only in Burma but seen is most of the countries.

The concept of proportional representation advocated by Junta is a first step to check the opposition and to reduce the public voting rights. This will lead to the dilution of of democratic institution and as well as to plug the pro democracy wave. There are fair chances of increasing the reservation of defence nomination (presently 25%) by bringing an amendment and also put a age bar limit so that the deserving and experienced leaders from main opposition are eliminated automatically.

In the name of security some mechanism would be brought to keep check over the candidature and if found that he or she would be a threat to Junta then could be eliminated at the initial stage only. After the Feb 01 takeover, Junta is more concerned of their own survival in case democracy is restored.

If Junta’s intentions had been clear, they could have announced the elections rather proposed dissolution of NLD, indicating NLD remains a potential threat. It only shows that despite in power, Junta still feels insecure of the their future. Altering the electoral process simply ensures to have people in the legislature who can serve their purpose with impeccable loyalty.

Security situation in a country like Burma can be manipulated at any point of time as enough resources are available with Junta to do so and to give projection to the international community that they still need time to control the deteriorating situation but the fact remains that series of blasts in the different regions and cities are being carried out done under well designed strategy by Junta to sustain its agenda to remain in power.

On the other hand virtual government, National Unity Government (NUG), although doing impressive social media job is not able to achieve much on the ground. Appointing Ethnic leaders from Karen and Kachin as Prime Minister and Vice President is basically an appeasing attempt. Civil Defence Armies or Peoples Defence Forces are at nascent stage and are not equipped or trained enough to fight against regular forces. Secondly, one should never ignore the fact that the Civil Defence Groups formed for specific objectives usually turn counter productive once target is achieved.

The fact remains that Burmese Generals are being tutored by their masters in China on every aspect of the strategy that can protect their interests for long.

N.B Chyoi is a Kachin lawyer and geopolitical analyst focusing especially on Burma, India and China.

The opinion expressed here is the author’s own, and does not represent the editorial policy of The Kachin Post.