Myanmar poll body rejects military's claims of election fraud after army warns of 'action'

Myanmar's election commission said there were no errors big enough to impact the credibility of the vote. PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (REUTERS) - Myanmar's election commission on Thursday (Jan 28) rejected allegations by the country's military of vote fraud in last year's election and said there were no errors big enough to impact the credibility of the vote.

The commission's statement comes two days after the armed forces spokesman declined to rule out a coup and warned the military would "take action" if its demands to investigate irregularities were not met.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the Nov 8 election in a landslide, taking 83 per cent of available seats, in what was seen as a referendum on the democratic government of former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won just 33 of the 476 available seats.

"In this election, weaknesses and errors in voters' lists cannot cause voting fraud," the commission said in a six-page statement on its Facebook page, adding voting was conducted transparently before election observers.

It said it was investigating 287 complaints and that errors like duplicated names had appeared in some lists, but voters could not cast multiple ballots with fingers marked in indelible ink.

A military spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

The latest show of discontent by the army, which ruled Myanmar for half a century until 2011, comes just a few days before a new Parliament convenes, prompting speculation that the military could intervene before a new government is formed.

Adding to the intrigue, the commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, mentioned during a widely publicised video address to military personnel on Wednesday that a Constitution should be repealed if it was not abided by.

He cited previous instances when charters had been abolished in Myanmar.

NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt welcomed the commission's statement and said the military's claims had no grounds.

"For the voters and observers, there were no errors nor fraud substantial enough to flip the result of the election," Mr Myo Nyunt said.

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