Myanmar’s ruling party, which was founded and backed by the country’s former military junta rulers, yesterday complained that there were voting irregularities in last weekend’s by-election, which saw them soundly beaten by the country’s leading dissident, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, and her party. Last Sunday’s landmark by-election brought the charismatic Nobel Peace Prize laureate and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party into office for the first time when they won 43 of the 45 seats up for grabs. The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) – which is comprised of many of the same former generals who seized power in 1988 and kept Ms Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 years – won the one seat not contested by the NLD in the by-election.
The USDP, which still controls 80 per cent of seats in Parliament, said yesterday that it will lodge an official complaint about a number of infringements committed by NLD members and its supporters. They include campaigning too close to polling stations.
Mr Soe Min, the USDP candidate who was beaten by Ms Suu Kyi in the Kawhmu Township constituency, said that NLD supporters had waved the party’s flag in front of his Kawhmu headquarters on election day itself. The former army doctor, however, was unsure if the flag-wavers were NLD members or ordinary supporters, reported AFP. He added: “I have two concrete complaints of ballot officers ticking ballot papers on behalf of voters.”