Sunday, 25 June 2017

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The leading Union Solidarity and Development Party candidate in northern Arakan State, Aung Zaw Win, left for Naypyidaw this morning as news spread that unofficial results show a sizable victory for the National Democratic Party for Development, according to an election watchdog group in Maungdaw.

No official announcements have been made yet about the outcome of elections, but Election Commission and township authorities in Maungdaw admitted Monday that the NDPD won 90 out of 105 village tracts.

“The NDPD still won with 8,500 votes in Maungdaw north and 6,000 votes in Maungdaw south than USDP.”

“We worked very hard for the Union Solidarity and Development Party to win in northern Arakan State, but we were not successful,” said an election commission official who asked not to be named.

Meanwhile, leading USDP candidate Aung Zaw Win said he had been called back to Naypyidaw, the watchdog group said.

“It is not true that he was summoned back to Naypyidaw. He chose to return because his party suffered such a defeat by the NDPD, which he was unable to control in Maungdaw,” said a local elder.

“He went to Naypyidaw to meet his business partner Brigadier General Soe Shin of the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), who is close to Senior General Than Shwe, to discuss the voting in northern Arakan State,” the elder added.

Aung Zaw Win’s departure comes just a day after Burma held its first election in more than 20 years, and after widespread voter intimidation and violations of election law were reported throughout the state.

“He must celebrate the victory of election in Maungdaw as he had said local before election as winner of election, now why  he left  without celebrated and why the commission office not declare the election result,” said a local from Maungdaw.

But, the USDP supporters are widely announcing the victory of election with slogan “We come from Rangoon to fight to win in election and enter “Rakhine Muslim”, the local said.

An organizer for the National Democratic Party for Development (NDPD) said election officials and candidates of the junta-backed USDP forcibly removed opposition officials from polling stations where they were to serve as monitors.

The organizer added that Aung Zaw Win visited a polling station at State Middle School in Maungdaw and others in Maungdaw to convince arriving voters to cast their ballots for his party, in clear violation of election law.

Authorities also reportedly arrested NDPD candidate Khin Maung Myint, also known as Enayet Ullah, on interfering in voting booth about objection of USDP’s rigging.

“He is still in custody in Maungdaw police station,” said an NDPD organizer.

Other scattered reports emerged of NDPD supporters from Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships being detained on Election Day.

A politician from Maungdaw said USDP candidates and local authorities have not employed similar tactics against the Rakhine community, which has largely shown support for the National Unity Party (NUP).