On Thursday the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Tom Andrews said that elections in 2023, that is going to be held by country’s junta will be a ‘fraud’, and even warned other countries against offering assistance that would help legitimize it.
The junta declared a state of emergency after seizing power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup in February last year and has tentatively planned for elections by August 2023.
“What is very important is that countries in the world don’t fall into the trap of trying to provide technical assistance or support for what is going to clearly be a fraud. If you do that, you are actually making things worse,” said Andrews, saying this would give the polls a “mirage of legitimacy.”
Elaborating on his views on the elections, he said that repression of the opposition had made a free and fair election impossible. Myanmar’s state media said India was cooperating in the election process.
The junta has said it has held consultations with political parties but has yet to announce the rules under which the election would be held and if all parties would be allowed to take part. A military spokesperson did not immediately answer a call seeking comment.
“I was concerned about the current conflict between the junta and armed opposition expanding,” Andrew said this citing an attack by army helicopters at a school in Myanmar earlier this week that killed 13 people, including 7 children, according to media and residents.
“There is a horrible, horrible cycle of violence that is fully underway and my fear is that this is going to snowball out of control,” he further said and called for a more coordinated international response to the Myanmar crisis.
The UN Security Council is considering a British-drafted resolution but Andrews said he had “no hope” that a meaningful resolution would pass, saying what was required was an arms embargo and targeted economic sanctions.
“It will almost certainly be vetoed,” he said. “Horror is happening everywhere and it is happening without the world seeming to know or care about what’s going on.”