USDP Representative Charged for Possessing Counterfeit Ballot Seals

Monday, November 9, 2020

A representative of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) who was supposed to monitor the situation at a Mon State polling station on election day is facing criminal charges after being found to be in possession of fake ballot seals.

The incident occurred at Polling Station 6 in Asin San Pya village in Ye Township on Sunday.

“Security staff at the polling station and the special police found two seals in her handbag. One seal had the word ‘UEC’ and the other seal did not have the word ‘UEC,’” Nyi Thwe, chairperson of the Ye Township Election Commission, told NMG, referring to the need for seals to have the name of the Union Election Commission (UEC).

The woman has been charged with violating Articles 420 and 468 of Burma’s penal code, related to cheating and forgery, Nyi Thwe added.

NMG reported on a UEC statement issued on November 6 warning voters to look out for counterfeit ballot seals that had the UEC logo but not the commission’s name.

“In Mawlamyine, the ward election commission told us to recognize all ballots as valid even if no ‘UEC’ word was included in the ballot seal. The Mon Unity Party (MUP) strongly opposed this,” secretary of the MUP’s campaign committee Nai Aung Mon told NMG.

He expressed concern about the reports of the fake ballot seal being found in Ye Township, especially since ballots were still being counted at the time of reporting, but said he did not have further details about the issue, describing it as an “irregularity.”

“I think the election commission should give [the seal] to polling officers on election day. Mismanagement causes this problem,” Nai Aung Mon said.

Secretary of Mawlamyine District’s election commission Htin Kyaw said the incident in Asin San Pya village was the only election day issue the state.

“No strange case occurred in Mon State except for the fake ballot seal case in Ye Township,” he told NMG.

There are 235,000 eligible voters and a total of 130 polling stations in Ye Township.

MUP spokesperson Nai Layae Tama told NMG on November 9 that, according to initial results for the township, the MUP had won seats representing Ye in the state parliament, Lower House and Upper House.