Electoral Dispute Resolution

According to the Election Dispute Resolution Manual by the Union Election Commission (UEC) for 2015 Myanmar GE, there are 5 types of allegation as follows:

  1. Voter List objection: under-aged voter, residency

Voters should submit insertion/ objection/ or amendment request form at Ward or village tract sub-commission within 14 days after the display of the final voter list.

The relevant ward/ village tract sub commission should scrutinize the orjection or the request and issue a decision within 7 days from the receipt of the forms. In case a person is not satisfied with the decision of the Ward or village tract commission may file an appeal to the Township Sub commission within 3 days from the date he/ she receives the decision.

  1.  Candidate nomination objection: under-aged, not resident, insolvent, foreign citizen, civil servant

Any applicant candidate or his/her authorized representative in the same constituency may file an objection at the District Sub-commission, Union Territory Sub-commission, relevant Self-Administered Division Sub-commission, Self-Administered Zone Sub-commission. Ethnic candidates should file an objection at the region/ state sub-commission where candidate nomination papers are being scrutinized on the time and day of the scrutiny.

The sub-commission would issue a decision on the objection within seven days from the day of filing of the objection. If no appeal is filed during the prescribed period, the decision is final.

  1.  Pre-Election: illegal campaigning, hate speech, observer accreditation, intimidation of voters

Any eligible voter, candidate or agent, political party may file a report with supporting evidence that a violation has occurred to the commissions at any level. The report will be investigated and decided upon at the relevant election sub-commission. A hearing session will be scheduled to allowed the party(ies) involved to present their claim, argument, evidence and defense. The hearing sessions are open to the public.

A copy of the order would be given free of charge to the parties. The decisions will be made available to the public and affixed at the office and a consolidation report will be posted on the website to ensure transparency of the adjudication process. There is no appeal process but the Commission may decide on its own initiative to review the case upon receipt of the decision from the lower level sub-commissions.

  1.  Election Day: multiple voting, counting irregularities, denial of access

The Polling Officers have powers when facing irregularities during voting and counting. They may request assistance from security officers if necessary and should report any irregularities to the ward, village tract sub-commission if it may affect the fairness of the poll. The Polling Officers may address irregularities and take remedial actions immediately based on their own observation or information/ report brought to their attention by a voter, observer, candidates or party agents.

  1.  Election results objections

Any candidate or voter may file an objection challenging the validity of the election of a specific elected representative or challenging the fairness of the election in a particular constituency. However, no objection can be filed on matters already decided by the Commission according to the section 53 of the election laws.

The objection should be filed at the central UEC in May Pyi Taw, within 45 days from the announcement of the election results by the relevant Region or State Sub-commissions. There is fee of 500,000 Kyats and it is not refundable.

An Election Tribunal will be formed by the UEC to address the electoral objection and hold a public hearing. Following the hearing, the Election Tribunal will proceed to a deliberation in a private session and will make a decision at a timely manner. After the publication of decision to the public, an appeal can be filed within 15 days from the date of the decision, with 500,000 Kyats fee. If no appeal is filed, the decision of the Tribunal is final and the Commission would publish the decisions of the Election Tribunal in the official gazette and on UEC website.

  1.  Election expenditure: exceed amount, not filling report

According to the election law, candidates are required to submit their election expenses report within 30 days after the announcement of the results. Any candidate or his/ her agent may file application against the report from the sub-commission, claiming that he/ she should not be disqualified because of various reasons relating to election expenditure. The objection should be filed at the central UEC in Nay Pyi Taw within 15 days from the day of display of candidates that are recommended to be disqualified.

The Election Tribunal will be formed to investigate and make a decision. The decision whether the Hluttaw member is disqualified or not is based on the evidence submitted according to the evidence act and of the election laws. The decision will be made available to the public and posted on website to ensure transparency of the adjudication process. The declaration of the UEC containing the elected candidates and the candidates disqualified (for election expenses violations) should be published in the Gazette.

In this case, the law does not provide for an appeal process.

Election Dispute Resolution Manual, 2015 Myanmar General Election, Union Election Commission, 2015

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