Friday, August 18, 2017

Strong demand for month-long election police assignment

Applications to serve in a special election police force have poured in to Mandalay Region, surpassing the amount needed to bolster security around the November vote.

More than 5000 applicants have so far applied for the 5000 posts on offer in Mandalay Region, according to officials.

The election commission plans to appoint at least one security police officer at each of the 40,000 polling booths across the country.

U Thet Naing, deputy head of the Mandalay Region Police Force, said those interested in a permanent post could be accepted after their former duties are complete.

“We will assign these special police for election as permanent police officers if they want to keep on working in police force. They could serve as police constables, the basic rank in the force,” U Thet Naing said.

Initially, the Ministry of Home Affairs planned to assign the special police for three months, providing a base salary of K120,000 and a daily stipend of K1000. But the ministry reduced the length of the assignments to one month – from October 15 to November 15 – because not enough funding had been allocated.

“It is good to assign this special force as permanent police because the current ratio of police to people is not in the right proportion. The increase of the number of police is better for us,” said Mandalay resident U Hla Maung.

New recruits must be Myanmar citizens in good health, between 18 and 60 years old, and have a high school diploma. The fresh recruits must also have a clean criminal record, be local residents in the township or ward where they apply and be unaffiliated with any political party.

They will not be given any weapons and will be trained in a brief, 10-day course by trainers selected from each township. Early reports from the Ministry of Home Affairs put the monthly salary at K150,000, with half paid before the election and the rest afterward. They also initially suggested that only those applicants under 25 years old will be eligible to become full-time police officers after completing the one-month appointment.

Translation by Thiri Min Htun