South Asia | Voter lists still incomplete ahead of Myanmar elections on Nov 8

Voter lists still incomplete ahead of Myanmar elections on Nov 8

November 3, 2015 3:23 PM (UTC+8)

 

(From Radio Free Asia)

Lists of citizens registered to vote in national elections this week in formerly military-ruled Myanmar are still incomplete, with the names of many eligible voters missing from the lists, sources say.

Residents check the voter registration list in Pyinmana, Myanmar, Monday
Residents check the voter registration list in Pyinmana, Myanmar, Monday

Many of those whose names are missing have tried repeatedly to ensure their names appear, sources said.

“Our family’s names were not included in the first list that was released,” San Ye, a resident of Myeik township in southern Myanmar’s Thanintharyi region told RFA’s Khmer Service Monday.

“We then submitted copies of our identification cards and applied to be included in the next list, but our names didn’t appear there, either.”

“We reported this, and now our names are missing on the most recent list, as well,” she said.

And in some cases, names that had previously appeared on the lists of those eligible to vote have unaccountably vanished from more recent lists, sources say.

‘Impossible’

Speaking to RFA, Sai Kyaw Thu, a director of the Union Election Commission (UEC) responsible for managing the polls, said that any name appearing on early lists should still show up again.

“”It is impossible for someone to have not been included on the most recent list if their names appeared before,” he said. “The last list was based on previous lists.”

“If anyone’s name is not there on the last voters’ list, their district election commission can be sure to include the name on the next list.”

“I think this problem can be solved,” he said.

Software problems

Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), which is widely expected to win in the November polls, has criticized the UEC for the many existing errors on voter lists—including the names of dead people, omissions of current voters, and incorrect birth dates, names, and national registration numbers—fearing that these could hurt its chances for victory.

But the UEC has blamed the errors on software problems and placed the burden upon voters themselves to make sure their names and details appear correctly on the lists.

The UEC, meanwhile, announced Sunday that candidates standing for election must take down all campaign posters and flyers by midnight, Nov. 6, two days before the polls open.

Any campaign material remaining in view after that time will be cleared away by local authorities, with the candidates responsible billed for the cost of removal, the UEC said.

Reported by Kyaw Lwin Oo and Thin Thiri for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Copyright Radio Free Asia

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