Myanmar Consolidated Media
Education feature story
60th Anniversary of Indonesia~Myanmar

Election turnout higher than 1990

By Maw Maw San
December 13 - 19, 2010

ABOUT 77 percent of those eligible voted in the November 7 general election, exceeding turnout in the 1990 election, state media reported last week.

More than 22.4 million, or 77.26 percent, of the roughly 29 million eligible voters cast a ballot for a Pyithu Hluttaw candidate in the poll, the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported on December 8.

Amyotha Hluttaw and State or Region Hluttaws recorded slightly lower voter turnout figures of 76.78pc and 76.62pc respectively, according to the official figures, which were released by the Union Election Commission on December 7.

Lost or cancelled ballots ranged from 6.43pc for the Amyotha Hluttaw to 7.4pc for the State or Region Hluttaws.

The 2010 figure eclipsed turnout in the 1990 election for a constituent assembly, when 72.6pc of those eligible voted and 12.3pc of votes were declared ineligible.

Altogether 3069 candidates, including 82 independents, stood for election on November 7, with 325 elected to the Pyithu Hluttaw, 168 to the Amyotha Hluttaw and 661 to State or Regional Hluttaws. Only six independent candidates were elected.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party was the most successful party in the election, winning 882 seats overall. One quarter of the places in parliament are also reserved for serving military personnel.

Officials from political parties that contested the poll said the official voter turnout figures were slightly higher than they expected.

“It is calculated by the government … but it is possible that the figures are correct,” said Democratic Party (Myanmar) chairman U Thu wai. “Before the election, we had expected that the turnout would be more than 50pc.”

U Aye Lwin, chairman of the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics, said that in constituencies that his party contested the turnout was between 65 and 70pc.

“We don’t know about the situation in other areas but we think the figures are plausible. We expected that the turnout would be between 65 and 70pc and the announcement last week was very close to our guess,” said U Aye Lwin, whose party failed to win a seat in the poll.