Myanmar Voting List Plague With Errors: Opposition Groups

The election commission says it will announce the actual polling date in August.


Sabtu, 04 Jul 2015 12:00 WIB


Saw Zin Nyi

U Aung Myint is checking his information on voter list. (Photo: Saw Zin Nyi)

U Aung Myint is checking his information on voter list. (Photo: Saw Zin Nyi)

The semi military governments says it will go ahead with an election in November – the first free vote in 25 years. The election commission says it will announce the actual polling date in August.

Among the challenges is getting full electoral roll that includes voters in camps for internally displaced people and the millions of citizens living abroad.

Opposition parties say that now the voter list is plague with errors—incorrect names, death people on the list and many eligible votes not on it at all.

50 year old U Aung Myint is riding to the election commission office to put his name on the voter list.

He was on not the list in 2010 and missed out on voting.

He arrives at the office and is told by an official to go and write down his details at a desk.

"In the 2012 by-election my name wasn't on the voter list and I had to come and put it on the list. In the end I was able to vote.  Now again I have to come and amend the list because my name wasn't on the election roll. The official said it was because I wasn’t home when they come around,” he said.

He lives alone and works a 10 hour day as a motorbike taxi driver. He is passionate about being able to vote.

"Everyone has a right to vote. I do not want to lose my chance so I am here to correct this. If I did see the list then I wouldn’t have known till the election day and it would have been too late,” he said.

Myanmar semi-democratic government is promising that the November election is going to be free and fair.

In a first step, the commission says it is trying to make sure everyone over 18 can vote.

The commission published the voter lists in advanced so that citizens can come and check their name.

But the oppostion Mon people party, Nai Layi Tama says this is not good enough.

"The commission didn’t do their job seriously the first place. So there are lots of mistakes. The commission didn't respect voters at all. They are the ones who should have made sure it’s right,” he said.

The voter list was widely criticized locally and internationally in the 2010 general election and the 2012 by-election.

Some dead people were on the voting list and many names of eligible votes were not on there.

Working mother of four, Ma Thin Thin says she will not have time to check if her name is on the list.

“In fact, I do not even know where they publish it. I am busy with my job and not bother to go and check it. I voted in the past without knowing much about the election. I see the election didn't bring any change to my life so I am not interested in it,” she said.  

U Tin Aye is the chairman of the union of the election commission.

He says people need to work with them.

"If someone didn't come to check their name it is their fault, not us. In the constitution, it clearly states, every citizen has a duty to check their voting information. We had problems in 2010 and 2012 but to over come these problems we are doing our job and releasing information in advance so that everyone can come and check their names. We expected mistakes in this list but if people come to correct it, we will get correct list, isn't that right?” he asked.   

In the remote place in the north of the country, people have to travel a day by foot to come to check their name.  


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