Kalaymyo NLD youth leader con­cerned with vot­ing lists

Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS - Jaiden Coo­nan

Forty-eight vil­lage voter lists that were checked by the Na­tional League for Democ­racy can no longer be found due to flood­ing and this spells trou­ble for voter trans­parency. NLD Youth Leader Thant Wai Kyaw, who has re­spon­si­bil­ity for check­ing vil­lage voter lists in the area, raised con­cerns with Mizzima Weekly say­ing that all the work they have con­ducted has gone to waste.

“75 per­cent of the vot­ing list was wrong, so now af­ter the flood 100 per­cent of it will be ru­ined. If it is to con­tinue like this there will not be a free and fair elec­tion,” said Thant Wai Kyaw.

“I’m not sure about how many peo­ple can vote now, around 48 to 50 vil­lages have been af­fected,” he said.

Se­vere flood­ing in the Kalaymyo Town­ship has seen over 12,000 refugees con­verge on the town’s schools, yet the true num­ber is not known as there could be thou­sands more in sur­round­ing vil­lages.

The Depart­ment of Immigratio­n have teams work­ing in eight tem­po­rary refugee camps in down­town Kalaymyo, to col­lect their in­for­ma­tion in or­der to as­sign them new cit­i­zen­ship cards. But Thant Wai Kyaw is wor­ried that the ef­fort isn’t ef­fec­tive enough.

“The vic­tims in Chin are suf­fer­ing the same from the heavy rains, all of­fices are help­less, NLD of­fices in non-af­fected ar­eas are as­sist­ing the NLD of­fices in af­fected ar­eas to help dis­trib­ute aid and of­fer do­na­tions,” said Thant Wai Kyaw.

The Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion ex­tended the nom­i­nee reg­is­tra­tion dead­line for can­di­dates seek­ing

to con­test the elec­tion by a week on Au­gust 3, a move broadly wel­comed by po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Due to the flood­ing, many can­di­dates have no ac­cess to trans­porta­tion. Even with flood­wa­ters be­gin­ning to sub­side in some ar­eas, the 8 Au­gust cut-off would have seen large num­bers of can­di­dates un­able to register.

Prompt­ing sev­eral po­lit­i­cal par­ties to call for the gov­ern­ment to ex­tend the dead­line. Can­di­dates now have un­til 14 Au­gust to register for the Novem­ber elec­tion.

The UEC is­sued a press re­lease this week say­ing they are in the process of “cor­rect­ing er­rors” in voter lists and that those who’ve al­ready reg­is­tered and lost iden­tity cards in the flood­ing will still be el­i­gi­ble to vote. Voter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards will be is­sued to those who’ve lost nec­es­sary doc­u­ments a week be­fore the elec­tion. The UEC says they will an­nounce the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of voter lists by the end of Au­gust.

“For the flood vic­tims, their in­for­ma­tion is al­ready in­cluded in the voter lists which was re­leased four times in the past,” said Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion Mem­ber, U Win Ko.

“We can­not ex­tend the pe­riod for the flood vic­tims be­cause we have to abide by the law that has been set… there will be no more mis­takes in the voter list, even if they’ve lost their citizen cards or fam­ily reg­is­tra­tion doc­u­ments in the flood.”

U Maung Maung Than from the Immigratio­n and Na­tional Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Is­su­ing Depart­ment said refugees who pre­vi­ously en­rolled to vote and gave cor­rect in­for­ma­tion will have that in­for­ma­tion con­firmed again and then will be im­me­di­ately is­sued re­place­ment doc­u­ments.

This process is al­ready un­der­way in Kalaymyo Town­ship in Sa­gaing Re­gion and Pwint Phyu Town­ship in Magwe as well as other places where the flood­wa­ters have re­ceded.

“We can’t do it in places where the floods are still se­vere but, we are start­ing the process in the places the wa­ter has de­creased. There hasn’t been an is­sue with re-is­su­ing cit­i­zen­ship cards to the flood vic­tims,” said U Maung Maung Than.

A NLD worker checks voter lists. Photo: EPA

Vil­lager in Kalaymyo copes with the floods. Photo: Jaiden Coo­nan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.