Secretary of Mon State Election Sub-commission accused of misappropriation of election funds

October 10, 2020

HURFOM: On October 7, 2020, the Chair of Thaton District Election Sub-commission and two members held a press conference at the Thu Wunna Ran Thi Monastery, Thaton Town, Mon State. The Chair alleged that U Hein Linn Htet, the Secretary of the Mon State Election Sub-commission, had misappropriated election funds.

In 2019, the Mon State government allocated 120 million Kyat to the Mon State Election Sub-commission for the 2020 election.  Concerns with how these funds were being spent were raised when it was noted that each Mon State township must have nearly 40 photocopy cartridge toners on hand in preparation for the election,  but in reality, each township received only six units of toner cartridges. 

In addition the budget plan for the 120 million Kyat submitted by the Mon State Election Sub-commission was not the same as the budget plan submitted to the Union Election Commission (UEC). 

The Thaton Election Sub-commission filed a report noting their concerns to the UEC, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the President’s Office on February 2, 2020 but there was no official response.  This led U Maung Oo and two additional members, Daw Moe Moe Khine and U Thet Oo. U Maung Oo, to resign in early October.

U Maung Oo said, “We filed a report to every particular department but there was no legal action. We officially sent the report but they did nothing so it looked like they didn’t respect us.”

With no evident action taken by upper authorities to their initial report, U Maung Oo investigated the case himself. He learned the Deputy Director of the UEC had quietly investigated the matter and halted  the  salary promotion of the Secretary of Mon State Election Sub-commission. But there was no official statement about this action. 

U Maung Oo explained, “We were not notified officially of a reply and there was no official letter from  the Mon State Election Sub-commission Office. The UEC had inquired about the case but we heard nothing about them taking action. So I personally inquired about the case and found that they took action against the Secretary of Mon State Election Sub-commission by halting his salary promotion. There was no transparency. Our effort to file the report received nothing.” 

U Maung Oo concluded, … taking action against one staff member has no transparency so we can’t trust the whole election has transparency. We can’t work for those who don’t value and acknowledge us. That’s why we resigned.”

HURFOM contacted the Secretary of Mon State Election Sub-commission for a comment,  but he did not pick up the phone.

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