At least eight passengers, including seven women, are dead and as many as 70 are still missing following the sinking of a boat on the Chindwin River in Sagaing Region. The Ya Zar Tun sank at about 5:30am on November 1 on its way from Monywa to Sae Zin.
Claims that staff shortages prevented electoral officials from publishing the exact number of voters in Mandalay Region were met with scepticism yesterday. Though the new, and supposedly final, voter lists were posted in ward or village election commission offices commencing November 2, the exact number of eligible voters in the region could not be released before yesterday, said deputy director of Mandalay Region election commission U Kyaw Kyaw Soe.
Rampant gold mining is turning communities in Mandalay Region into deserted villages, while the authorities turn a blind eye, angry villagers have warned. Residents of six villages in Thabeikkyin township, Mandalay Region, took to the streets yesterday in protest against the mining companies’ “bullying” tactics.
Seven criminal cases relating to alleged breaches of electoral law are to come before the courts in Mandalay Region, election officials announced yesterday. They said that between October 8 and November 2, a total of 30 complaints had been filed with Mandalay police by various political parties. Police said they had dismissed some complaints and were investigating others.
He campaigns door-to-door like any other candidate, reminding voters of his record as a local politician, soliciting their votes for this weekend’s election. But it is something of a surprise to find a figure like U Phone Zaw Han running as an independent. Few men of his prominence were closer to the heart of the Mandalay establishment for so long.
Ousted Union Solidarity and Development Party chair Thura U Shwe Mann further evidenced the threat of a ruling party split this weekend as he abdicated responsibility for the party’s election results and acknowledged that his collaboration with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi could have played a part in his dismissal.
No drinks please, we’re voting. Offering a thirsty voter a glass of water could send you to jail, political party workers were warned yesterday. U Aung Htut, chair of Mandalay Region’s election commission, was briefing the parties, observers and the media on the finer points of electoral law.
A handful of party stalwarts are braving bad transport, apathy and claustrophobic conditions to mine votes in remote Thabeikkyin township, Pyin Oo Lwin District, Mandalay Region. The campaigners are after the votes of thousands of migrant gold-mine workers.