Otago Daily Times

Rakhine vote cur­tailed

- Politics · Elections · Yangon · Myanmar · Aung San Suu Kyi · Aung San · National League for Democracy - Myanmar · Rakhine State · Arakan League for Democracy

YANGON: More than half the polling sta­tions ini­tially planned in con­flict­torn Rakhine for Myan­mar’s Novem­ber 8 elec­tion will no longer op­er­ate, as parts of the state are too un­sta­ble for vot­ing, the coun­try’s elec­tion com­mit­tee says.

The re­gion, where most par­lia­men­tary seats are held by Rakhine na­tion­al­ist op­po­nents of Myan­mar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has been be­set by an in­ten­si­fy­ing eth­nic in­sur­gency.

The rul­ing Na­tional League for Democ­racy said three of its can­di­dates were ab­ducted in Rakhine while cam­paign­ing last week. Po­lice did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment, and Arakan Army in­sur­gents made no state­ment.

Some ar­eas ‘‘are not in a po­si­tion to hold a free and fair elec­tion,’’ the com­mit­tee said on Fri­day.

There will be no vot­ing in nine of 17 town­ships in Rakhine, while four will have min­i­mal vot­ing.

‘‘This has a huge im­pact on us. We have only a few spots for vot­ing left,’’ spokesman for the Arakan League for Democ­racy Myo Kyaw said. The league is one of the ma­jor par­ties in Rakhine. — Reuters

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