Political parties express security concerns over upcoming elections

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Hsu/ Thant Zin (NP News) - July 10

Political parties in Myanmar have expressed concerns about security for the upcoming elections, according to inquiries with some political parties from The NP News.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has stated that preparations are being made to hold the general election in 2025.

The security of political parties will be a key issue that needs to be addressed in the upcoming elections, said U Hla Htay, Chairman of the People's Party (Yangon Region).

"Security for political parties is a very important issue when it comes to elections," he said. "We have held elections in the past. There were security measures in place for those elections, for the polling stations, and for safety of the political parties. However, at that time, the situation and the time were under the conditions that we were able to do things in a relatively safe and secure manner. But the military chief has said that the next election will be held in 2025. When he says that, we have to realize that the security situation in our country is not the same as it was before. We need to take a very serious and careful approach."

Political parties are also considering alternative campaigning methods due to the security challenges they face in meeting with the public during the election campaign.

"Political parties need to campaign if they want to win elections," said U Hla Htay. "When we campaign, we have to go out to the people and meet with them directly. If the security situation is such that we need to be very careful about the security of our campaigns, we will have to reduce the scope of our campaigning. We will have to be very careful and cautious about going directly to the people and meeting with them. That's why we are thinking about using other methods, such as online campaigning and media platforms. It will be very difficult to overcome these challenges." U Hla Htay continued.

The National Unity Government (NUG)-aligned PDF terrorists, which are opposing the current government, are also a major challenge for political parties, said U Tin Swe, Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party (Myanmar) to the NP News.

He said "The EAOs do not have issues with the election. But the PDF groups under the NUG are boycotting the upcoming election. Political parties are registered with the current SAC under the New Political Parties Registration Law. The goal of political parties is to compete in elections. But the groups under the NUG are a big challenge for us. They are the people who do not accept the election. Even the current Information Minister (Major General Zaw Min Tun) has said that they cannot protect each and every citizen. So, the candidates have a lot to worry about it."

It is also noted that the upcoming election might be held in phases as it might not be feasible to conduct nationwide.

"I think that only Yangon Region, Ayeyawady Region, some places in Bago, some places in Taninthayi Region, some places in Mandalay Region, and Naypyidaw Council Area can be held in full-packed," said U Tin Swe.

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