New MP sworn in amid accusations of election bribery

A voter checks the voters’ list at a polling station in Yangon on November 3, 2018. – Myanmar voters cast their ballots in a small but key by-election on November 3, 2018, a rare local test of support for embattled leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party more than halfway through her time in office. (Photo by Ye Aung Thu / AFP)

U Nay Myo Aung, the USDP MP-elect being sued on suspicion of bribing Seikkan district voters by getting them access to easy loans ahead of the November by-election, was today sworn in at the Yangon Regional Parliament alongside six other military representatives in a televised broadcast.

The announcement was also made on the Yangon Region Hluttaw Facebook page, although it didn’t include the names of the representative or the district in question. In the published schedule for the 2nd Special Meeting of the Yangon Regional Parliament, the second order of business was to “swear in one elected MP and six military representatives.”

Nay Myo Aung and two other USDP officials are being sued by losing opposition candidate U Than Htike Aung under Article 58(a) of the State and Regional Electoral Law for allegedly facilitating micro-loans between would-be voters in his constituency and May Htut, a microfinance company with ties to the USDP, multiple outlets have reported.

The two other USDP officials implicated in the scheme are Nay Myo Ang’s campaign manager, Daw Toe Toe Lwin, and Yangon’s USDP chairman, U Lin Aung, who is also director of, you guessed it … May Htut.

The former NLD candidate, who was widely pegged to win in a rout ahead of the election, told the Irrawaddy that his lawsuit is motivated by his desire for a “free and fair election.”

“We learned that such money-related irregularities were going on even before the by-election. We knew it was against the law. We are only able to file the case now because it took us time to gather evidence,” he told the outlet.

News of the micro-loan scheme was first broken in an investigation in the Burmese-language edition of Myanmar Now, which revealed that more than 100 residents in the constituency had received microloans in the months leading up to the by-election, with several saying they were told there was no rush to repay their loans.

If the MP-elect is found guilty, he could face up to a year in prison. Moreover, the results of the election would be annulled.

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