16 October 2021, Sittwe
Arakan State-based political parties and civil society organisations say they have not yet decided whether to attend a meeting with the junta-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC) to discuss election systems to be adopted for future polls.
The UEC has reached out to political parties and CSOs to convene a meeting to discuss election systems, including a possible change to a system of proportional representation (PR).
The meeting will be held in Yangon in the first week of November, and the UEC has asked those planning to attend to RSVP by November 1.
Dr. Aye Maung, leader of the Arakan Front Party, said he has not yet discussed with the AFP leadership whether the party will attend the event or not.
“We did not do any research about the PR election system. However, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, some [other] political parties and CSOs might have researched the PR system. So, we are not sure whether to attend the meeting or not,” he said.
U Khaing Pyi Soe, secretary of the Arakan National Party, said he did not know about the UEC-led talks because the party had not received an invitation for the event.
“We are not invited yet. And we are not told about the event. So, we cannot say anything about it,” he said.
U Hla Myint, spokesperson for the Arakan League for Democracy, said the ALD would announce its decision regarding event attendance after a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee.
“We have not discussed it so far,” he told DMG.
U Khaing Kaung San, from an election monitoring group in Arakan State, said he also had not yet received a meeting invite.
“When we receive an invitation, we will have to discuss if we should attend the event. All four groups have to discuss,” he said, referring to his fellow election monitoring organisations in Arakan State.