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Union Election Commission

Union Election Commission (UEC)
ပြည်ထောင်စု ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ ကော်မရှင်
Commission overview
Formed8 March 2010; 13 years ago (2010-03-08)
JurisdictionMyanmar (Burma)
HeadquartersNaypyidaw
Commission executive
Websiteuec.gov.mm

The Union Election Commission (Burmese: ပြည်ထောင်စု ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ ကော်မရှင်, abbreviated UEC) is the national level electoral commission of Myanmar (Burma), responsible for organising and overseeing elections in Burma, as well as vetting parliamentary candidates and political parties.[1]

History

The Union Election Commission is mandated by the Union Election Commission Law, enacted on 8 March 2010.[2] The UEC's first chairman was Thein Soe, a former major-general, an appointment that was derided by media.[3] On 18 February 2011, Tin Aye, a former lieutenant-general and member of the State Peace and Development Council, was appointed by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, to replace Thein Soe.[4] The UEC was criticised by various advocacy groups and the United Nations for its lack of independence and impartiality for its handling of the 2012 Myanmar by-elections.[5] The UN has also noted the UEC's failure to follow up on electoral complaints, including voting procedures.[6]

During the 2015 Myanmar general election, the National League for Democracy won a landslide victory, marking a major political transition of power-sharing with the Burmese military. On 28 March, President Htin Kyaw appointed Hla Thein as the UEC's chair.[7]

On the eve of the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état, the military deemed the results of the 2020 Myanmar general election fraudulent, citing voting irregularities.[8] On 28 January, the UEC rejected the military's allegations, unable to substantiate their claims, sparking fears of an impending coup.[8] On 1 February, the military staged a coup, deposing the civilian-elected government. During the coup, Hla Thein was arrested by military authorities.[9] Two days later, the military junta appointed new members to the UEC, including Thein Soe, UEC's inaugural chair and a former military officer.[10] In July 2022, Hla Thein and two UEC members were sentenced to prison for violating section 130(a) of the Myanmar Penal Code.[11]

Members

The UEC's members are appointed by the government, and must meet the following qualifications:[12]

  • 50 years of age or older
  • a good public reputation, as determined by the government
  • dignity, integrity and experience
  • loyalty to the State and its citizens
  • not affiliated to any political parties
  • not hold any office or draw compensation as such

2021-present members

On 2 February 2021, the State Administrative Council, the military regime, appointed military-aligned members to the UEC:[13]

  1. Thein Soe, Chairman[14]
  2. U Aung Moe Myint, Member[14]
  3. Than Tun, Member[14]
  4. U Kyauk, Member[14]
  5. Aung Saw Win, Member[14]
  6. Than Win, Member[14]

2016-2020 members

The UEC's current members, appointed by the President Htin Kyaw on 30 March 2016.

  1. Hla Thein (chairman)
  2. Aung Myint (Member)
  3. Soe Yae (Member)
  4. Tun Khin (Member)
  5. Hla Tint (Member)

Inaugural members

The UEC appointed by the State Peace and Development Council after 2010 election were:[1][15]

  1. Tin Aye (chairman)
  2. Myint Naing (Member)
  3. Aung Myint (Member)
  4. Dr. Myint Kyi (Member)
  5. Win Kyi (Member)
  6. Nyunt Tin (Member)
  7. Win Ko (Member)
  8. Tin Tun (Secretary)

Following were appointed as additional members of Union Election Commission later.[16]

  1. N Zaw Naung
  2. Sai Kham Win
  3. Saw Ba Hlaing
  4. Ha Kee
  5. Dr. Mg Mg Kyi
  6. Sai Non Taung
  7. Sai Htun Thein and
  8. Dr. Sai San Win

List of chairpersons

  1. Thein Soe (8 March 2010 – 30 March 2011)
  2. Tin Aye (30 March 2011 – 30 March 2016)
  3. Hla Thein (30 March 2016 – 2 February 2021)
  4. Thein Soe (2 February 2021 – present)

Controversy

The UEC has been criticised for its powers to abolish elections in conflict areas.[17]

References

  1. ^ a b "Election Commission". Mizzima Election 2010. Mizzima. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  2. ^ "Situation of human rights in Myanmar" (PDF). Report of the Secretary-General. United Nations General Assembly. 14 September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Burma laws condemned as a 'mockery' of democracy". Angola Press. 11 March 2010. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  4. ^ Shwe Yinn Mar Oo (21 February 2011). "Former MP to lead commission". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 16 September 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Burma's by-elections: still short of international standards". Alternative Asean Network on Burma. 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Situation of human rights in Myanmar". Sixty-sixth session Third Committee: United Nations General Assembly. 28 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2017. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Nouvelle - Myanmar approves formation of new election commission". data.unhcr.org. Archived from the original on 29 March 2023. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Myanmar election commission rejects military's fraud claims". AP NEWS. 3 May 2021. Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  9. ^ "Myanmar: Arrests Mount as Protests Expand". Human Rights Watch. 13 February 2021. Archived from the original on 29 March 2023. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  10. ^ "Election 2020 | Myanmar's Coup Leaders Name a New Union Election Commission". The Irrawaddy. 3 February 2021. Archived from the original on 29 March 2023. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  11. ^ "Myanmar charges three pre-coup UEC members with breaching polling laws". Radio Free Asia. Archived from the original on 29 March 2023. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  12. ^ "Union Election Commission Law" (PDF). New Light of Myanmar. 8 March 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  13. ^ "Election 2020 | Myanmar's Coup Leaders Name a New Union Election Commission". The Irrawaddy. 3 February 2021. Archived from the original on 29 March 2023. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "ပြည်ထောင်စုသမ္မတမြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော် နိုင်ငံတော်စီမံအုပ်ချုပ်ရေးကောင်စီ အမိန့်အမှတ်(၇/၂၀၂၁) ၁၃၈၂ ခုနှစ်၊ ပြာသိုလပြည့်ကျော် ၆ ရက် ၂၀၂၁ ခုနှစ်၊ ဖေဖော်ဝါရီလ ၂ ရက် ပြည်ထောင်စုရွေးကောက်ပွဲကော်မရှင်ဥက္ကဋ္ဌနှင့်အဖွဲ့ဝင်များ ခန့်အပ်တာဝန်ပေးခြင်း". Tatmadaw Information Team (in Burmese). Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Profiles of Union Election Commission Members". Burma Election 2010. The Irrawaddy. 23 March 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Union Election Commission". www.uecmyanmar.org. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Myanmar junta to hand-pick election body". AFP. 8 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
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Union Election Commission
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