Nay Pyi Taw November 5
Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met with commanders of military commands through video teleconference (VTC) at 10.30 am today to give instructions on successful holding of the 2020 multi-party election.
Also present at the meeting together with the Senior General were Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win and Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) General Mya Tun Oo. The commanders of respective military commands participated in the meetings through VTC system.
First, the Senior General said he could not meet with some commanders in person due to outbreak of COVID-19 and asked after their health conditions. As the multiparty democracy general election will be held soon, the Senior General asked about preparations in respective military commands for all officers, other ranks and families to systematically cast votes at relevant polling stations. Commanders reported on their preparations and arrangements for all officers, other ranks and families who will cast advance votes in accord with the rules.
Then, the Senior General stressed the need for Western Command to take special security measures for officers, other ranks and families as well as local people in casting votes and to discharge security duty by strictly abiding by directive of the Union Election Commission. All officers, other ranks and families can cast votes freely. And, the Senior General noted necessary points to be considered.
“All servicemen and families can freely cast votes. I’d like to note two points to be considered.
The first point is to consider selection for able representatives who emphasize Our Three Main National Causes. Another point is that the representatives must be actually eligible for serving the interests of the State and the region. So, Tatmadaw members and families need to consider the aforesaid two points in freely casting votes. And, it is necessary to give a helping hand to the people for safe and free voting on the election day. Natural disaster may occur at any time. Anyone cannot tell the disaster will not happen. It may rain or strong winds may blow on voting day due to various reasons. If so, voters may face difficulties in transportation.
As such, servicemen need to cast vote while not only those servicemen who have already voted but also those servicemen who have spare time before voting must give help as quickly as possible to the people when natural disaster falls. It is because voters will come to the polling stations from various areas.
For example, there are voters who will have to come to a certain polling station from other areas. They should not lose their voting rights because they cannot come to the polling station in time due to bad roads and broken bridges on their way. I would like to urge all to render assistance to such voters so that they can cast their votes smoothly and safely. It is also necessary to take measures for disaster prevention. The voting time is very long. Another issue is that it takes from the first voter to the last one a long time to cast votes. It is impossible to estimate how long it will take. Voters may get hungry or thirsty while they are waiting. I would like to urge all to offer snacks and drinks to voters from designated places outside polling stations in accordance with the rules and regulations issued by the commission. Some voters will have to come to polling stations from rather distant places. As I just pointed out, the voting period may coincide with disasters or be very hot periods of the day. As it is necessary to queue for voting in accordance with social distancing guidelines, it is difficult to say how long they will have to wait in queues. It is necessary for the Tatmadaw to provide assistance as much as possible for their snacks and drinks.
Moreover, the election is a decisive event in the democratic system of the country. That is why the Tatmadaw has pointed out for a long time it is imperative that the election is a free and fair one. Therefore, it is necessary for all to offer assistance so that voters can cast ballots free and fair at the election. If there are irreg-ularities, whether objections will be made or not is another issue. What is the most important is that votes are cast well and smoothly and that the election day proceeds successfully and smoothly without any problems. Therefore, I made some remarks recently. I have learnt certain news about some areas based on your reports. As for the news, I would like to say that votes will be cast into the ballot boxes on the election day. Votes currently cast are advance votes and as there are weaknesses in the advance voting, there may be weaknesses on the election day due to various reasons. Therefore, I would like to urge all to instruct respective regiments and units, units and relevant organizations to bring about a free and fair election by cooperating with relevant committees so that voters can cast their votes safely and smoothly.”
Afterwards, the Senior General gave guidance on providing all necessary assistance for the success of the multi-party democracy general election in respective military commands and left necessary instructions.