The Kachin State People’s Party (KSPP) has brought a legal case against three people who they say circulated false information about the party during their election campaign in Kachin State.
San Nai Deeram, the KSPP chairperson for Nogmung—also known as Nawng Moong—Township, said that he brought charges against the individuals on November 4—four days before Burma’s general election—because they defamed the KSPP and its candidates in Putao and Nogmung townships.
The three people—Hton Hpu Dagon, who is the retired chair of the Kachin Tradition and Culture Association, as well as men named Hser Wan Hpong and U Peter—are charged with violating Article 58(c) of Burma’s election law, which states that people cannot organize voters against a party for the purpose of ethnic or religious discrimination.
“They conducted personal attacks on electoral candidates from our party. They also attacked our party,” San Nai Deeram told KNG. “They accused the Kachin Independence Army of providing financial assistance to the KSPP. They also said that the KSPP was not an officially registered political party. They circulated incorrect information about the KSPP. That’s why we have prosecuted them.”
Police officers started their investigation into the charges on November 25. They questioned the plaintiff and five eyewitnesses at their police station in Nogmung on that day.
The KSPP candidates for the area said that the false information spread on the ground rather than over social media due to the slow internet speed in northern Kachin State.
The KSPP won four parliamentary seats in the November 8 election in the state, with the National League for Democracy claiming 47 seats and three ministerial posts—the majority of the 70 positions up for grabs.