National Defence and Security Council of Republic of Union of Myanmar holds meeting 1/2023

NAY PYI TAW February 1

The National Defence and Security Council (NDSC) of the Republic of Union of Myanmar held the meeting 1/2023 at the meeting hall of the State Administration Council Chairman’s Office here yesterday morning.

Present were Pro Tem Pre-sident U Myint Swe, Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior Gene-ral Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, Union Minister for Defence General Mya Tun Oo, Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Soe Htut, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Tun Tun Naung, and SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Aung Lin Dway, SAC Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, Union Minister for Legal Affairs Attorney-General Dr Thida Oo, who were specially invited participants. Vice President U Henry Van Thio asked for a leave of absence from the meeting.

As regards the two year State service of the SAC, the Senior General said the SAC government has to assume the State duties due to the vote rigging committed by the then government that took over the State responsibility during the second term during the 2020 multi-party general election. The Tatmadaw had informed the concerned persons about the issue time and again for the steadfastness of the country’s multi party democracy which was at its initial stage. According to the official voter list issued by the former Union Election Commission during the 2020 general election there were 38,271,447 (over 38.27 million) eligible voters. But the Tatmadaw could transparently and firmly prove and announce with solid evidence that 10,482,116 (over 10.48 million) were the result of voter fraud. This number exceeded one fourth of the population of eligible voters. Further investigation revealed that it was an unusual error and an arguable issue; it was a conspiracy. Vote rigging in the parliamentary elections is a horrible case no country can accept. Hence a third party was required to investigate the case.

According to the Constitution and political history, the institution that has the duty to check, warn and inform any issue in the country is the Tatmadaw. Vote rigging is a common case in the elections held throughout the world. In fact, such problems must be solved and taken action by the government in office and officials and UEC in all seriousness. But in Myanmar, the case was ignored not only by officials concerned, but also by the UEC. As the section 4 of the Constitution states “The Sovereign power of the Union is derived from the citizens and is in force in the entire country”: sections 6 (d) and 7 call for flourishing of a genuine, disciplined multiparty democratic system; section 6 (f) states “enabling the Defence Services to be able to participate in the National political leadership role of the State”; and section 20 (f) states “The Defence Services is mainly responsible for safeguarding the Constitution” the Tatmadaw has the duty to investigate the case.

The problem was not solved in a proper way, instead, officials and organizations at all levels brushed aside their responsibility and accountability and tried to convene the parliament by force with 15 agendas including the taking of oath by the MPs and the election of Pyithu Hluttaw speaker and deputy speaker. This action amounted to grabbing the State power through forceful means as sta-ted in the sections 40 (c) and 417. According to sections 62, 63 and 64 of the Constitution, as U Win Myint was an elected MP, a member serving party duties and a person facing legal action he no longer has the right to act as the president. In order to address the vote rigging case in accordance with the law, Pro Tem President U Myint Swe of Republic of Union of Myanmar convened the NDSC meeting and declared a State of emergency in accord with the section 417 of the 2008 Constitution. Thanks to the agreement of the dignitaries present at the meeting, the legislative, executive and judicial duties and powers of the State were transferred to the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services in accord with section 418 (a) of the Constitution.

The then government and officials instead of addressing the election problem were making complete denials. If they were innocent, they must prove that evidence and lists of vote rigging issued by the Tatmadaw were wrong. In order to prove their innocence, voter lists must be rechecked, but they dared not do so. Their voter lists and number of yes votes were incorrect statistically and practically. In inspecting the voter lists, the Tatmadaw exposed the vote rigging problem transparently and firmly based on objective conditions. But they had no courage to prove that their’s was correct and that of Tatmadaw was wrong.

They were ignoring their responsibility and accountability and making complete denials as a party that committed vote rigging would have no future political role when the results of inspection came out. According to the then situation, all the NDSC meeting attendees agreed to transfer the State duties to the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services term wise as per the Constitution. The latest developments in implementing the five point roadmap adopted by the current government will be presented.

In accord with the point “The Union Election Commission will be reconstituted and its mandated tasks, including the scrutiny of voter lists, shall be implemented in accordance with the law” SAC reconstituted a new UEC and mandated its tasks.

Led by the teams of UEC, officials of the relevant townships and party officials inspected the voting process and ballots at every polling station from 17 February to 4 July 2021 and investigated the vote rigging and unlawful acts.

A total of 11,305,390 cases (over 11.3 million) of vote rigging including over 4,869,423 (over 4.86 million) cast votes in the 2020 multiparty general election without NRC, FRC and neutralized citizenship certificate, and 259,405 cast votes for three and above times with a single NRC were exposed.

If the calculation is based on the 2014 census, the estimated population of 18 and above after six years on 1 October 2020 should be 34,350,155 (over 34.35 million). The figure issued by the UEC for the 2020 election was 38,271,447 (over 38.27 million). Originally, the population difference was nearly four million. Census is a nationwide task. The figure would include adults who were ineligible for voting according to section 392 of Constitution. For example members of the religious order, those who are serving prison terms. If such persons were included, the degree of voter lists difference would become wider.

Directives to vote without NRC and to designate a yes vote with stamps without UEC seal as valid votes and erroneous voter lists found at the polling stations are not accidental, but intentional. Violation of laws and rules through various means were found. The situation of polling stations was in disarray.

Abuse of power by the NLD in the different levels of election functions was found. NLD chair Daw Aung San Suu Kyi after obtaining political power told the media on 5-11-2015 that she would be above the president. According to her words and actions she was even giving orders and assignments to the president who was the head of State according to the 2008 Constitution. Hence, the NLD is fully responsible for vote rigging in the 2020 election. Such interferences were the frauds committed by the NLD chair by abusing power and position. U Win Myint also participated in the fraud as the president. It is a valuable lesson for the country.

During the 2020 election Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and former president U Win Myint exerted pressures on UEC directly and indirectly. Thus, UEC had to abuse its rights and powers to act against the law and rules. The current government has to take effective action against former president U Win Myint, Union level officials, former chief ministers, and UEC officials for their involvement in election fraud. The government’s aim is to protect the democracy path from facing any black mark. The government had to hand down severe punishments as their acts amount to committing terrorism against persons that are not siding with them. In her canvassing speech officially aired throughout the whole country from MRTV on 17 September 2020, the NLD chair said, “The country’s election does not meet democracy standards. People can stand in the election only 75 percent of the seats as the remaining 25 percent is reserved for Tatmadaw. Hence, the NLD needs to overcome the 25 percent barrier to form a new government. NLD needs to win 67 percent of the seats as it can stand for the election for only 75 percent. NLD needs ardent support to secure a clear victory in all the constituencies it takes part in.”

In this regard, some constituencies where the NLD was likely to lose were canceled. The result was that some ethnic organizations lost their voting rights. The canceled townships were the places where support from ethnic parties was significantly strong. Another result was that the act might lead to the breakup of the Union in the future and weaken national solidarity. According to the Constitution, the general election is held every five years in the whole nation simultaneously. Pyithu Hluttaw, Amyotha Hluttaw and Region/State Hluttaws were formed with elected representatives and Tatmadaw member representatives. The said bodies elected heads of government from chief ministers to the president of the State. Hence, general elections must be held in all regions and states at the same time. It is not a step by step process. The election will be successful if the meetings can be successfully held at the hluttaws. It will not be fair if the election can be held only in towns. Elections must be held also in villages where 70 percent of the country’s population lives. There should be a favourable condition for the parties and candidates to launch canvassing campaigns in the respective areas.

Correctness of basic voter list plays a key role in the election.

A total of 4,869,427 people (over 4.8 million) without CSC cast votes in the 2020 election. During the period of 3 May 2021 to 3 January 2023, the Pankhinn project was implemented to issue citizenship scrutiny cards to all citizens. So, there remain issuance of CSC to 1,134,363 people (over 1.13 million) of 3,491, 364 people (over 3.4 million), most of whom reside in Kayin, Chin and Shan (North) states and Sagaing Region. It is necessary to issue CSC to remaining citizens. If so, they will be free from loss of citizen rights. All eligible voters must have any ID and they must have rights to vote of their own accord without intimidation and coercion. Such votes must be correct voice from them. Voting or not-voting depends on wish of the people and the government is responsible for arranging them to cast votes.

In implementing the point “effective measures will be taken with added momentum to prevent an manage the impact of COVID-19”, laboratory tests were conducted for 9,938,023 persons (over 9.93 million) from 23 March 2020 to 31 January 2023, leaving 633,819 positive cases (more than 630,000) and 19,491 dead persons (more than 19,000), accounting for 3.08 percent.

The term of this government was time of disease infection in high season. In the third and fourth weeks of July 2021, positive patient number hit 5,000 per day, (41 percent). The Senior General led the central committee virtual meetings for 13 times with region and state chief ministers to fulfill the needs. The deputy prime minister also led the meetings three times a week to coordinate measures. In order to control infection and death in the third wave of the disease, 1,674 hospitals and treatment centres were opened.

The Senior General recounted that he adopted a policy that practically do in a rapid process, and nothing is important than human life. Officials performed prevention, control and treatment of the disease day and night in various ways and means. The government built 216 oxygen plants whereas private sector set up 271 plants, totalling 487 for public healthcare. Thanks to efforts of the government, positive cases and dead rate quickly declined. Likewise, thanks to contributions of the Myanmar people, preventive equipment, medicines, oxygen and foodstuffs were donated. Neighbouring countries China and Thailand also provided oxygen cylinders. So, the disease could be controlled well.

There were 1,077 hospitals and 11,427 dispensaries, totalling 12,504 in the country. Due to political situations, 765 hospitals and 7,430 dispensaries, totalling 8,195 (65.53 percent) were only run during the high season of infection. The Ministry of Health had appointed 103,214 health staff across the nation, 54,722 of whom served the duties. Among 48,492 absent persons in duties, 47,254 persons committed CDM activities. They left their workplaces due to wrong political outlook and instigations. Their vacancies were filled with military medical staff for providing healthcare services to the people at military hospitals. Military medical staff were transferred to the Ministry of Health and other relevant ministries due to work demand. They cooperate with dutiful health staff. Retired health staff and retired military medical staff participated in the heath care services. So, their contributions were much remarkable in battling the pandemic. It was a result of civil and military relations.

With regard to vaccination against COVID-19, a total of 31,013,972 people (over 31.01 million) out of 31,668,791(over 31.66 million) estimated population above 18 have been vaccinated from 17 January 2022 to 22 January 2023, accounting for 98 percent of coverage. Moreover, 6,810,173 people (more than 6.81 million) of 9,277,798 people (more than 9.27 million) between aged 5 and 18 have been vaccinated for first time, accounting for 73 percent of coverage.

As for point 3 “Actions will be taken to ensure the speedy recovery of businesses from the impact of COVID-19”, Myanmar faced bad impacts of COVID-19 similar to global countries. As from 2018, the economic and management weakness pushed the State economy into the downtrend and the infection of COVID-19 also pulled down the State economy as well. The country imported a large amount of goods without income of foreign exchange, causing trade deficiency. The income from non-trade was spent on import of goods. Due to prioritizing imports without encouraging domestic manufacturing, many weaknesses emerged.

Myanmar grasped 7.26 per- cent of GDP rate in the first democatic government term with US$-12.097 billion of trade deficit and US$-11.63 billion foreign investment. In the 2016-2017 FY of the the second term of the government, GDP rate reached 5.8 percent, 2017-2018 FY 6.4 percent, six month mini budget fo 2018, 6.5 percent, 2018-2019 FY 6.8 percent, 2019-2020 FY 3.2 percent, 2020-2021 (six months) – 8.4 percent. Average GDP increase rate reached 3.38 percent and its trade deficit hit US$-12,614.17 million (more than US$-12.61 billion). Actual inflow of foreign investment reached US$-14,961.3 million (more than US$-14.96 billion). As such, the country faced a large amount of trade deficit, causing serious situations of the nation.

In the second term of the democratic government, the country packed the burden of local and foreign loans. During the period, exstate counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi committed nine cases of bribes including bribes from the Yangon Region Chief Minister, causing more than US$-4 million loss and more than Ks-49,206 million, ex-president U Win Myint five cases, to lose US$-4,088,090 and more than Ks-23,048 million, eight NLD CEC members, 20 region and state chief ministers and former ministers, causing loss of US$-13,109,908 (more than US$-13 million) and Ks-361,903,974,631.85 (more than Ks-361 billion) for the State.

These were cases in investigation at the courts. These were based on abusing the authority and bribe cases. And, the country lagged development behind regional countries.

During the term of this government, international community imposed sanctions on the country, and it does not have deserved development due to local economic situations and foreign instigation. Due to political situations, the country did not have loans and cash assistance. The loans and cash assistance given in the previous government period were suspended.

Aids from UN and its agencies were also suspended. GDP rate from October to September 2020-2021 FY stood at -5.9 percent. During the six month period from October to March in 2021-2022 FY, GDP rate reached 2.4 percent increase. At the estimation from April to March of 2022-2023 FY, GDP rate increased to 3.2 percent. Efforts were made to increase the GDP rate from minus to plus situations.

The current government does not prioritize import goods and encourage domestic manufacturing in enhancing the local economy. MSME business is a main driving force to economic development and improvement of domestic manufacturing of the nation. MSME business is based on manufacturing, trading, service and others. In this regard, manufacturing process is a basic matter. Prioritizing the agriculture, livestock and production based on underground and aboveground resources aims to produce import substitute as well as increase of export volume so as to earn foreign exchange.

In implementing the point “emphasis will be placed on achieving enduring peace for the entire nation in line with the agreement set out in the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement”, the governments in successive eras are restoring peace in various ways and means. The current government is implementing the peace process and emphasizes peace tasks in line with the NCA. The government and the Tatmadaw accept that peace and tranquility are important for development of the nation. So, the Tatmadaw issued the statements on ceasefire and perpetual peace on 21 December 2018. In addition to the one year period in 2022, the ceasefire period was recently extended for the whole 2023. A total of 22 statements have been issued for extension of ceasefire as part of emphasizing the peace process.

The Senior General recounted that he himself invited leaders of ethnic armed organizations on 22 April 2022 to hold peace talks in order to practically implement the peace process. Seven NCA signatory EAOs and three non-signatory EAOs, totalling 10 replied to hold the peace talks and it reached the third time.

In the meetings, both sides transparently discussed exercising the genuine multiparty democratic system, demands of EAOs, and things deserved for the regions and the State. Such meetings brought the positive results based on a wider scope of knowledge for the sake of the Union, agreements on parts 1, 2 and 3 of the Union Accord, and remaining points for table-2 to be discussed in the part 3, and they could sign the agreements.

The government will continue to follow the peace path based on the 2008 constitution and NCA for continuing practical peace measures. When it comes to national races, efforts are being made to achieve eternal peace by discarding doubts among the national races as national unity is crucial in the political field of the State. We have to march towards of the goal of a peaceful union, socioeconomic progress and lasting peace aspired by the entire people while seeking solutions through meetings and negotiations.

The organizations involved in the peace process and stake-holders need to speed up the implementation of the process in a practical manner. And that means we are doing our best to maintain the NCA.

Regarding the fifth point stated in the five point road map “upon accomplishing the provisions of the state of emergency, free and fair multiparty democratic elections will be held in line with the 2008 Constitution, and further work will be undertaken to hand over State duties to the winning party in accordance with democratic standards”, our government had to declare the state of emergency following the problem of vote rigging. So upon completion of measures in accord with the emergency provisions, we have already aimed to hold a free and fair multiparty democracy general election again. A free and fair election plays an important role in promoting disciplined multiparty democracy. Our government is taking preparatory measures step by step to ensure basic and complete facts and data for the upcoming election.

A pilot project on on-ground population data collection to have complete voter lists for the election began in August 2022. Under the leadership of the Union Election Commission, the Ministry of Immigration and Population and ward/village administrative bodies are still in the process of scrutiny with population list form 66/6 and population list (Gene-ral-1 A). On-ground checks are very important to have correct voter lists.

Representation, the essence of democracy, depends on electoral system. The current FPTP (First Past the Post) system is the advantage for a winning party, but a loss to other parties. Therefore, our government is planning to adopt an electoral system that ensures representatives of the national people, ethnic regions and all classes enter the parliament, an official political stage of our country. Eighty eight parties participated in the 2020 general election, and only 19 had the chance to serve as Hluttaw representatives. Two persons were elected independent representatives. Reviewing the situation, our country has a lot of political parties. But there are very few parties that can represent the people. Actually, political parties need to try for their supporters to be united and strong to be able to represent them. Despite having a lot of parties, there are very few that have the chance to enter the parliament. Party members can work for just a few groups of parties. If a group is small, organizational work cannot be largely done in terms of area, quantity or field. So, all parties need to organize more strongly and systematically. This is why the political party registration law has been amended and enacted. The Union Election Commission is planning to adopt PR (Proportional Representation) by rounding up the districts/ townships in the regions/states. The adoption of that system will guarantee that the national races including small tribal groups will be able to get involved in the legislative and executive sectors proportionately and fairly.

Since practicing multiparty democracy, our country has held three general elections. There are 330 townships. The general election was held in 325 townships in 2010, 323 in 2015 and 315 in 2020. Under the governments supposed to be promoting democracy, we witnessed that the effort to seek public desire had become weaker, and we should be aware of this.

In holding elections also, there must not be threats, cohesions, unfair persuasions or gang bullying over the desire of individual citizens. Our government is striving to ensure that election is held in all parts of the country and that all citizens are protected against injustice. We need to continue the preparations and tasks by relevant organizations to be able to hold the election all across the country. Meanwhile, we are striving for smooth and secure transport, the rule of law and peace and stability to successfully hold a free and transparent election. The political parties for their part must conduct reforms to adapt themselves to the electoral system we will adopt. There are also other tasks such as preparations and practical work for educating the people about a new electoral system. Our government has placed emphasis on doing these tasks.

Next, the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services said he wanted to present matters related to tasks for security, peace and stability and election process. He said the Tatmadaw had to take over State duties in accord with the Pro Tem President’s emergency provision of the constitution (2008) on February 1,2021. For this, there have been a lot of political exploitations. At that time, we explained to the Hluttaw representatives staying at Nay Pyi Taw Sibin Guesthouse the current political situations so that the problem could be solved in line with the law and they could participate in national unity and nation building tasks. They were then sent to their respective regions from 2 to 4 February. Those with no right to serve as Hluttaw representatives illegally established the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) on 5 February 2021, National Unity Government (NUG) on 16 April 2021 and People’s Defence Force (PDF) on 5 May 2021. At the same time, People’s Administration Body and People’s Defence Force were intentionally formed. Afterwards, former Hluttaw representatives led sending trainees to the KIA, KNU and KNPP’s controlled areas for doing terrorism courses. A letter encouraging the people emerged based on the NLD chairperson’s message. The letter was shown as real proof with the name of an NLD official U Win Htein who recognized it at risk of his life. The letter reads “The people are urged not to accept the coup by the Tatmadaw at all.” Those supposed to be working on the promotion of democracy encouraged those who could not understanding Tatmadaw’s duties at all to take the wrong road by taking up arms and creating riots. These were all well planned. They had to right to solve the problem in accord with the law. But choosing the violent way amounted to jeopardizing democracy. This is a terrible

black spot in Myanmar’s democratic system. Our people are easy to be infuriated so they are vulnerable to instigations. Although there were mass protests in 2021, better understanding of the country’s situations led to significantly reduced numbers. However, with direct or indirect assistance from some EAOs and foreign countries, PDFs are still making terrorist attacks, planting mines and committing arsons and killings. From 1 February 2021 to 25 January 2023, 4,917 pieces of State and private property were damaged or destroyed; there were 19,444 terror attacks—8,527 handmade bomb attacks, 9,686 attacks and 1,231 arson attacks–; 17,697 assorted arms and 1,382,667 assorted ammunition including 27,213 homemade mines /bombs were seized; 5,443 people were killed and 4,577 others injured including civil servants, administrative officials, monks and children; there were 1,021 bomb attacks on roads,66 attacks on railways,137 attacks on bridges, 23 attacks on power towers and 365 attacks on communication towers; there were 58 arson attacks on roads, 12 attacks on bridges, two attacks on power towers and 132 attacks on communication towers; and there were killings of 70 monks, two nuns, 66 education staff and 14 health staff totalling 152.

Despite decreasing violent cases in the whole year of 2022, the number of deaths and injuries was high. On ground works started on 9 January 2023 for correct voter lists and it was found that the extent of loss and damage and deaths and injuries became large. According to the reports from respective regions and states, there are 198 townships with 100 percent peace and tranquility, 67 townships needed to be prioritized in terms of security and 65 townships needing effective security measures. Peace cannot prevail in a city or town alone. That concerns all regions from rural areas to towns. EAOs are somewhat behind terrorist acts. PDFs are found to be different from EAOs when looking at thier acts. Without considering the interests of thier own regions and people, they in sync with unscrupulous people involved in vote rigging are committing acts such as incinerating villages, killing innocent civilians by accusing them of being informants, and extorting money. Consequently, we are still far away from community peace and stability. All the attendees here should take notice of that.

It is a main and important point that the basic voter list in the election is to be accurate and correct. It is necessary to have a strong and accurate population and census. As the population and census collected in 2014 has been 10 years long, it is still necessary to conduct the collection of population and housing census. Besides, in the past, censuses were collected every 10 years in Myanmar in the time of the British Government. Collecting the census began in 1872 and it was conducted every 10 years starting from 1881 until 1941. After independence, the government conducted a census in three phases from 1953 to 1955. In that project, collecting the census could cover only 30 percent of the country. Although it was postponed to continue in 1961 for the remaining 70 percent, it could be done. In 1972, Myanmar Census Law was enacted and the census was collected from April 1 to 5 in 1973. For the second time, the census collection was conducted from April 1 to 5 in 1983. It is necessary to conduct a census every 10 years. In the current situation, due to the unconfirmed number of citizens who went abroad and violence acts, it is still difficult to confirm the census. The census that is basic for the voter list is also necessary to be correct. As the census is collected every 10 years, con-ducting a census collection is a compulsory process to be carried out. If carried out, there will be no loss of democracy rights of the brothers and sisters of ethnic peoples.

In the forthcoming election, efforts will be made to ensure at least no smaller number of townships and less stability and peace of situation than that in the 2010 Election and to hold it as early as possible. In holding the election, it is necessary to be free from unfairness such as threats, coercion, injustice, exhortation, and bullying with crowds in order to freely ex-press the wishes of each citizen in some areas. Only if there is original and normal stability and peace and time, could the general election be held without any gaps across the nation. To do so, it is a situation that the government must certainly carry out measures to ensure secure and smooth transportation, rule of law, and stability and peace. Vote or no vote is up to an individual wish. To be able to vote is a duty of the government. Our government will be carrying out tasks to hold the election without any gaps across the nation in order that all the citizens will not lose their democracy rights. Every citizen who will vote will be able to come to the polling booth to freely vote according to their wish.

The Tatmadaw will always be the guardian to the interests of the State and the people in any era or any government assuming that only the people are the mother and the father. We all have to work together in the remaining situations. The entire people are also urged to work together with us. As stability and peace of the nation is mainly important to be able to hold the election, there are many tasks to be continued to do according to my report mentioned above. Time is needed to complete those tasks. It will be necessary for organizations concerned to work together with the current government. Over the two years we have been taking the responsibilities, we have been honesty working for the State and the people with a good attention looking forward to the plans that will benefit political, economic and social affairs of the nation for long-term period and I am sincerely submitting this report to you so that all the situation happening in the country will be assessed and known.

Then, regarding the report by the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, members of the National Defence and Security Council held discussions and submitted their reports. Firstly, Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat expressed thanks for submitting the report on future tasks of the State Administration Council. He said that regarding the tasks remain to be done, considering Section 425 of the Constitution, it will be more complete if the remark of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Union is obtained.

Afterwards, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services submitted his report. In his report, He said he wanted to discuss the last point of future tasks, that is to hold the free and fair election when matters on the state of emergency have been carried out. The State Administration Council started to take the responsibilities of the State because of electoral fraud. It is to act so that such mistakes will not happen again to be able to hold the free and fair election. Therefore, the Prime Minister gave an assignment to me to carry out a preliminary examination. What is found first is that there are 51 million people who have registered for national registration cards. When examining that list of registration, it was found that there are people who have repeated registration and those who are not sure about living within the country. Therefore, after scrutinizing those points, the acquired computerized lists must be checked with the situation on the ground. In that situation, opposite organizations and some terrorist groups are taking acts of disruption, making threats and doing destructive acts. Their acts are of much disruption to measures being taken for the correct voter list. Personnel and volunteers were disturbed, shot and killed when conducting collection of housing census. The census that is collected every 10 years is the list essentially important for the nation. It is much helpful to the sustainable development projects of the nation as well as voter lists and the election. To have a free and fair election, it is necessary to have voting rights in each constituency and correct voter lists. In taking measures according to the current security situation, it is seen that terrorist acts have been conducted since 2021. We are holding peace talks with EAOs and have held talks with 10 groups for peace and signed matters on discussion. He said he assumed that some time is needed to ensure correct voter lists, end terrorist acts in the areas where the terrorists are left moving and ensure that people could freely vote individually.

Then, the Union Minister for Defence joined the discussion and submitted his report saying difficulties on terrorist acts and COVID-19 outbreak were addressed. In the previous government, the nation’s GDP fell by minus 5 and efforts were made to recover that state of the economy over the last two years. When doing so, saboteurs taking the act of destroying the nation have still been so far. They are still the element causing disruption to holding the free and fair election. It is mainly to collect the census to have an accurate and correct voter list. He supported that some time is still needed to take those tasks without any disturbance.

Afterwards, the Union Minister for Home Affairs submitted his report saying the Tatmadaw took the responsibilities of the State due to electoral fraud regarding security, stability and peace and rule of law. After the State Administration Council took the responsibilities, protests with violence, destruction and killings occurred through protests. At the present time, despite no protests involving violence, there are still terrorist acts. In the current situation, terrorists are taking acts of violence, killings and destroying in order that the election could not be held. To operate the administrative mechanism, ward and village administrators remain to be appointed in some areas. According to the situation as reported above, so called NUG, CRPH and PDF terrorists, in the pre election period, are taking acts of blasting and torching election commission offices, population and immigration offices and political parties’ offices , threatening and killing political party members and Hluttaw candidates, killing ward administrators and their team members. To instill fear among the people, they could kill more people who do not agree with them by accusing informers. From the point of view on security, stability and peace and rule of law, some time is needed to some extent to gradually end the movement of terrorist groups.

Later, the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs submitted his report. He said that it is importantly necessary for the nation to be able to hold a free and fair election. In the previous election, it was found that there was no unfairness including electoral fraud. In doing such a thing, it was for one party system and dictatorship style long ruling of one person. To take measures for ensuring stability and peace, he said that the State Administration Council needs to take some time.

Then, the Union Minister for Border Affairs said the sabotage of terrorists so called the CRPH, the NUG and their proxy PDF during the assumption of duties by the SAC has been reported together with statistics. Although sabotage acts have dropped at present, it can be seen that violence has persisted in some areas and violence is committed intentionally to disrupt the general election. It can be seen that such circumstances are not not conducive to holding the free and fair election, one of the most important goals of the future tasks and it is necessary to allot a certain period of time to restore stability and to carry out tasks for the election. Therefore, all participants are urged to discuss the allocation of a certain period of time necessary to carry out the tasks in accordance with the constitution.

Afterwards, the Senior General made supplementary discussions, saying the general election must be held without fail as the SAC is required to pursue the multiparty democracy system opted by the people. As the 2008 constitution is the constitution approved by 92.48 percent of the people including defence services personnel and is a firm guarantee for adoption of the multi-party democracy system, all citizens are responsible for implementation of it. The Tatmadaw is responsible for safeguarding the constitution, implementation of the multiparty democracy system and holding the general election without fail. Measures must be taken to compile correct statistics, to hold a free and fair election and to prevent voting under threats, intimidation and pressure and it is necessary to hold elections without any gap. Casting votes or not is the democratic right of the individual citizens and it is the responsibility of the government to enable the people to cast votes. Under the constitution, more than 50 percent of representatives are required to attend the opening sessions of the Pyithu Hluttaw, the Amyotha Hluttaw and State or Regional Hluttaws. Therefore, it is necessary to hold elections in more than 50 percent of constituencies in states and regions without fail. Only then, will the election be successful and more than 50 percent of representatives be able to attend the opening sessions of the respective Hluttaws. As a general election that is held in a greater percentage of constituencies is an honourable one and the previous general election was a dishonourable one, measures must be taken to hold an honourable general election that meets the characteristics of an election again.

While EAOs and terrorists so called the PDF have been attempting to disrupt the general election, some countries are talking against the general election and friendly countries are supporting it. It is necessary to think about why terrorists so called the CRPH, the NUG and their proxy PDF want the general election not to take place. They are trying to disrupt the general election as they know they will wither away spontaneously when elected representatives take office after the general election. Some EAOs have responded that they have no plans to hold talks with the government over the peace process. However, all 10 EAOs that are in talks with the government have supported the multiparty democracy system and the union based on democracy and federal system.

The Senior General said that only by coordinating the information in the NCA with the ethnic groups and holding the election, the entire country will be covered by the democratic system. A certain amount of time must be given in order to be able to do so. According to the Political Parties Registration Law, political parties must be registered and candidates must register to participate in the election. After that, they will have to conduct election campaigns. The party that will compete nationwide must have offices in 165 townships out of 330 townships nationwide and must have 100,000 party members. According to reports, there are 108 townships that are 100 percent stable and peaceful. There are 67 townships that need to pay attention to security. There are 65 townships that must be effectively provided with security. Some rural areas are found to need more security. In some states, it is still necessary to continue to make efforts to achieve a situation where the election can be held in 50 percent of the areas. As representatives, they will not be able to carry out organizing activities. 70 percent of rural people must be able to vote. In order to do that, it will be found that it is necessary to ensure the country’s stability and peace. If we look back at the law, according to Article 425 of the Constitution, it is normally possible to allow six months twice, but the current time is not a normal time, so I think it should be extended at least once every 6 months. After 6 months, the situation of the state will be presented again.

Then, Dr Thida Oo, the Union Minister for Legal Affairs and Attorney General of the Union, who was specially invited, in discussing the legal aspect, said that Sections 410 to 432 of the 2008 Constitution, are emergency provisions. The main point of Section 425 is the provision that it can be extended twice up to 6 months if it is normal. When we look at the situations where the term “normal” is used as described in the Constitution, it is now an unusual situation. An unusual situation must be taken into account.

When studying a law, it is discussed that the Letter of Law and the Spirit of Law must be looked at and the essence of the law must be looked at.

After that, Pro Tem President U Myint Swe explained the Five point Road Map, Nine Objectives, Two National Objectives and Two Political Objectives that the government has set for the national responsibilities during the 24 months (2 years) of the State Administration Council by the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services. First of all, I would like to say that I recognize that the government and the military have persevered despite the domestic and foreign obstacles and the difficulties and protected the national interest of the state, the “Three Main National Causes”.

It is a strong institution called the Tatmadaw that came forward and defended whenever there were difficulties, crises and big dispute in the country. Due to the 2020 election frauds under the previous government, the State Administration Council Government had to assume the responsibility of the State. In order to prevent the country from derailing its path to democracy, the Tatmadaw repeatedly tried to encourage discussion and negotiation to resolve the organizations and individuals related to the election.

Today, the “State Administration Council Government” established by the Tatmadaw after declaring a political state of emergency in accordance with the Constitution, served the state duty as per the Constitution. During this period,

it has been found that the conditions that should be taken to make the population census accurate as it is important to correct the basic voter list in the next election after the 2020 election’s incorrect voter list, the situation in which the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services personally invited the leaders of ethnic armed organizations to meet and discuss the need for practical implementation of the country’s peace, the government and the Tatmadaw always pay attention to the information in the contract and implement the conditions regarding the NCA. In addition, some EAOs cooperated with fraudsters in the election and chose to carry out terrorist activities in the country and it will also be seen that those areas has been far away from the stability and peace. Therefore, as the Tatmadaw has paid attention to the stability of the country and the peace of the community, the current situation of the country has become more stable than before, but domestic and foreign opposition organizations are using various methods to disrupt the country’s peace and stability and disrupt the planned elections, said the Senior General.

In order to ensure that all ethnic brothers and sisters throughout the country do not lose their democratic rights, in the next election, a free and fair multi-party democratic general election can be held successfully everywhere and an electoral system in which all ethnic groups can be proportionally represented is being implemented. We will try our best not to reduce the number of constituencies in the general election held in 2010. To be able to do this, there is a need for safety, rules of law and stability. These points are inevitable processes. In order for that to happen, we will need to create them, said the Senior General.

According to the consensus decisions of all members of the National Defence and Security Council who attended today’s meeting and in accordance with Section 425 of the Constitution, “The period during which the State of Emergency has been declared for the entire country has been extended for another 6 months from February 1, 2023” and according to Section 419 of the Constitution, all the responsibilities of the State have been handed over to the “Chairman of the State Administration Council Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services”. The “National Defence and Security Council” will also issue a statement.

It was reported that the meeting of the National Defence and Security Council (1/2023) of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has been called off, saying that the Tatmadaw will protect the 2008 Constitution for the nation and the ethnic people and in the upcoming elections, everyone should participate in the process to ensure that every citizen has the right to vote freely according to their wishes.

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