Myanmar plans to hold fresh election in August 2023, says junta chief

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing pledged to hold a free and fair election after lifting the state of emergency by August 2023. PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (BLOOMBERG, AFP) - Myanmar's military government is planning to hold a fresh general election in August 2023, junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was quoted as saying on state-broadcaster MRTV on Thursday (Dec 23).

"Depending on state stability and peace, we are making our utmost effort to hold a multiparty general election in August 2023," the junta chief said at a meeting with heads and teachers at military universities in Yangon, according to the report.

The top general earlier extended an initial timeline for the new election after the election body annulled last year's poll results that Ms Aung San Suu Kyi's party won in a landslide. He also pledged to hold a free and fair election after lifting the state of emergency by August 2023.

General Min Aung Hlaing urged the people of Myanmar to cooperate in the process of issuing national registration cards to those eligible to ensure citizens' right to vote.

Only 25 per cent of the process has been completed so far, he said.

It is still unclear if Rohingya minorities in Rakhine State will be allowed to vote in the fresh election.

The general said the regime had tried to talk to political parties several times but some of them did not come to meetings with junta-appointed election officials. Plans are under way to take actions against those who did not act in accordance with the laws, he added.

Since the military toppled the civilian government in February with allegations of voter fraud, contrary to international observers' findings, nationwide protests have been met with a bloody crackdown, with more than 1,300 people killed and over 10,000 arrested, said a local monitoring group.

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