Myanmar’s Union Election Commission rejected allegations by the military that fraud played a significant role in determining the outcome of elections in November last year, which delivered a landslide victory to the ruling National League for Democracy, while embassies and other global bodies yesterday urged calm.
The decision, announced on Thursday, came amid heightened tensions after the military, which had ruled Myanmar for five decades until 2015, refused to rule out the possibility of a coup if its complaints were ignored.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy captured 396 out of 476 seats in the Nov. 8 polls, allowing it to form the government for another five years.
The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won only 33 seats.
The military has been calling on the government and the commission to review the results.
It said that it has found 8.6 million irregularities in voter lists in 314 townships that could have let voters cast multiple ballots or commit other “voting malpractice,” but the commission said there was no evidence to support the claims.
On Tuesday, a military spokesperson declined to rule out a coup, saying that the military would continue to file complaints about alleged irregularities in line with laws and the Burmese constitution.
The rhetoric prompted calls for calm yesterday from the international community.
More than a dozen embassies, including the US and EU delegation, urged Myanmar to “adhere to democratic norms,” joining the UN in a chorus of international concern about a possible coup.
The US embassy — along with 16 countries, including former colonial power Britain and the EU delegation — released a statement urging the military to “adhere to democratic norms.”
“We look forward to the peaceful convening of the parliament on February 1 and the election of the president and speakers,” the statement said.
We “oppose any attempt to alter the outcome of the elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition,” it said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also raised “great concern” over the developments, said his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.
“He urges all actors to desist from any form of incitement or provocation, demonstrate leadership, and to adhere to democratic norms and respecting the outcome of the” election,” Dujarric said in a statement.
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