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Myanmar military-linked opposition demands election recount

USDP Claims 'fraud' After Suu Kyi-led NLD Wins Landslide

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Union Solidarity and Development Party Vice Chairman Khin Yi said Thursday the results of the election would be different if the election commission was "fair and unbiased." (Photo by Yuichi Nitta)

Myanmar's military-linked opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party on Thursday demanded a recount of the votes cast in the general election on Nov. 8.

The current government, the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide. The Union Election Commission said the NLD won 396 seats, while the USDP, the largest opposition, won only 33 seats.

USDP claimed electoral fraud and filed complaints to the police and the UEC. In a news conference on Thursday, USDP Vice Chairman Khin Yi said: "I think some of the results will change if the decision-maker [UEC] is fair and unbiased."

The USDP said it and other opposition parties had sent an open letter to President Win Myint on Nov. 24, claiming electoral fraud.

The USDP made the first such claim on Nov. 11, when it said it would not accept the results and demanded another election. Khin Yi has now dropped the demand for another election but is still insisting on a recount.

"No, we don't want to say [reelection], never. No reelection. We are always talking about cases [of frauds] and recounting," Khin Yi told Nikkei after the press conference.

He added: "As there was a lot of wrongdoing, that's why we don't want to accept the result. But we don't want to ask for reelection -- only recounting."

Khin Yi is a retired brigadier general who served as the minister for immigration and population during the previous USDP government. He was also the chief of the police force under the military junta. He stressed on Thursday that the military was not behind the allegations.

An NLD spokesperson Monwya Aung Shin told Nikkei that USDP's complaints would not change anything. "I don't think their complaints will be successful. People are not following them, and those allegations are not coming from the people. These are not the people's desire," Monwya Aung Shin said.

"[The USDP] have been complaining to the UEC even before the election. It's not even realistic at some point. We had more than 90 political parties running for the elections, and there were only a few of them complaining," he added.

A military spokesperson did not want to comment on the allegations. "No comment, I won't even listen to [their claims]," Major General Zaw Min Tun said.

Yangon-based political analyst MaungMaungSoe said that the USDP has form in this regard. "It also happened after the previous elections. This time there are more allegations than before. But I hope things will be solved smoothly," MaungMaungSoe said.

Additional reporting by Yuichi Nitta and ThureinHlaHtway.