Shijal ChudasamaJanuary 7, 2023

With armed ethnic groups, Myanmar's military holds electoral negotiations.

With armed ethnic groups, Myanmar's military holds electoral negotiations.

According to a representative for one of the organizations, Myanmar's military administration has discussed holding elections in regions under rebel control with three ethnic armed factions.

Three days of talks are being held in the nation's capital, Naypyidaw, according to state media on Friday. The leaders of the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), United Wa State Party (UWSP), and National Democratic Alliance Army are involved in the growing conflict that has engulfed the nation since the military staged a coup in February 2021.

The military had "requested us to allow them organize free and fair elections in our area," according to a representative for the SSPP, which governs territory in northern Shan state.

According to the spokesperson, "For us, we will not oppose their election."

Myanmar's state-run Global New Light also covered the meeting between the military leadership and the tribal leaders.

A request for comment on the meeting from AFP went unanswered by a UWSP official.

The United Wa State Army (UWSA), the military branch of the UWSP, is one of the biggest non-state militaries in the world with a standing force of roughly 25,000. A family member is taken from each home in the UWSA's autonomous enclave on Myanmar's northern border with China in order to enlist in the military.

Last month, the military of Myanmar met with five minor ethnic insurgent factions, who later issued an united statement endorsing the regime's plans to conduct elections.

With regard to their demands for autonomy, control of the lucrative drug trade and the natural riches in the country's borderlands that support the armed activities, and other issues, Myanmar has about 20 ethnic rebel armies that have been at war with each other and the military for decades.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the country's military, reiterated his ambitions to hold elections during a speech on Wednesday to commemorate Myanmar's Independence Day, although he did not provide any information regarding the date.

A general election is frequently perceived as an effort to normalize the military's use of the electoral process to seize power and to produce a result that ensures the generals keep power. The military will oversee the entire election, and for the previous two years, it has worked to weaken any genuine opposition.

After 50 years of military control, the army's takeover in 2021 undid nearly ten years of progress toward democracy. Numerous people have been detained, including Aung San Suu Kyi, the nation's former leader who was duly elected. She has been imprisoned by the military essentially incommunicado, and after numerous court appearances, she was found guilty of corruption and given a 33-year prison sentence.

The cases brought against Aung San Suu Kyi, according to her supporters and unaffiliated analysts, are an effort to tarnish her character and prevent her from participating in the election that the military has previously stated will take place by August of this year.

The military used widespread alleged fraud in the final democratic, multi-party election in 2020 to justify its takeover, despite the fact that independent election monitors found no appreciable abnormalities.

Myanmar’s military holds election talks with armed ethic groups
Myanmar’s military holds election talks with armed ethic groups
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