Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burma’s state-run television announced today the names of the 17 appointed members of the newly created national Election Commission. The commission will organize and oversee Burma’s upcoming and highly controversial national election.
The announcement signed by the ruling State Peace Development Council’s (SDPC) secretary #1, indicated that Thein Soe, Vice Chief justice of Burma’s Supreme Court will be Commission Chairman and that two other members Dr. Myint Kyi and Khin Hla Myint are women. The rest of the members are Zaw Naw, Khin Maung Nu, Soe Ba Hlaing, Dr. Ba Maung, Nyunt Tin, Maung Tha Hla, Dr. Sai Khum Hlaing, Aung Myint, Myint Naing, Dr. Tin Aung Aye, Tha Oo, Dr. Maung Htoo, Tha Htay and Win Kyi.
Before becoming a civilian judge Thein Soe served in Burma’s armed forces as a Major General and was a military Judge Advocate General. Little is known about any of the other new nominees except that Dr. Tin Aung Aye is also a judge. Recent media reports indicate that both Thein Soe and Dr. Tin Aung Aye are still serving as judges and not yet retired.
Last week Burma’s Supreme Court turned down Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal of her conviction for violating the terms of house arrest. The “violation” occurred after a deranged American tourist secretly swam to Suu Kyi’s place of house arrest and tried to meet with the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team is again appealing the sentence and it is expected that Thein Soe will head the panel of judges in Naypyidaw who will rule on the case.
This week Burma’s military regime issued several new election related laws that give election authorities broad and sweeping powers that severely restrict the opposition parties ability to compete.