Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Observers will be allowed in military polling stations: UEC

Both domestic and international observers will be allowed to enter military polling stations, according to U Aung Htut, chair of the Union Election Commission for Mandalay Region.

“We will allow observation of the advance vote count as well,” he said.

Candidates will also be allowed to accompany ward and village electoral officials gathering the advance votes.

“They will be able to check the number of advance votes against the list of advance voters already posted in the polling station,” he said. Advance votes are to be kept in a separate ballot box and counted once polls close at 4pm, according to a recent statement from the UEC.

In the last general election, in 2010, candidates were not allowed to enter polling stations in their constituencies, but U Aung Htut said the by-laws for November’s election would reflect the changed policy.

U Khin Maung Than, a lawyer and a member of the National Democratic Force party’s Mandalay branch, was unconvinced by the UEC’s promise.

“Despite the commission chair’s promise, we will not know until election day whether the military will allow observers into polling stations,” he said. “But it’s good that the electoral law allows candidates to enter polling stations.”

Translation by Zar Zar Soe