Khin Tharaphy Oo | DMG
4 September, Sittwe 

The military has told the Union Election Commission (UEC) that the security situation in some Arakan State townships is very concerning, offering its assessment just over two months ahead of the scheduled vote. 

Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team conveyed the military’s thoughts during remarks at a press briefing in Nay Pyi Taw on September 4. 

“We [the military] suggested to the UEC that we are deeply concerned over the deteriorating security situation for holding elections in five townships in Wa region and some townships in Arakan State where clashes are happening,” the spokesperson for the Tatmadaw’s public relations outfit said. “All scenarios are dependent on the security conditions. Regarding the security situation, the military can give suggestions only.” 

The major-general emphasised that the military’s input was only advisory.  

“The military is not an organisation that can make a decision as to whether the election should be held or not. The UEC must be an independent organisation. The UEC has already been given the mandate to act fairly under the Constitution, the parliamentary law and bylaws,” Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun said. 

The 2020 general election likely will not be held in some Arakan State townships due to ongoing conflict, said U Myint Naing, a member of the UEC, at a press conference on September 2. 

The number of people arrested over suspected links to the Arakan Army continues to rise alongside civilian casualties in Arakan State, amid growing concern about a recent surge in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.

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