August 19, 2016

Advanced voting for military will be transparent: UEC

THE Union Election Commission has begun preparations to ensure that the advanced votes of military personnel is in accordance with electoral rules and regulations aimed at ensuring transparency, said U Tin, the chairman of the commission.
During a meeting with a delegation led by Mr Daniel R. Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the United States in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday, U Tin Aye said that the UEC has already begun coordinating with the Tatmadaw for allowing official observers and members of the media to witness balloting by members of the Tatmadaw, reported a news release from Myanmar News Agency (MNA).
The meeting focused on a number of other issues related to the upcoming general election on 8 November, such as ensuring voting rights for all eligible voters by compiling an accurate voters’ list, scrutinising candidates, avoiding the politicisation of religion and the 25 percent quota of parliamentary seats held by military personnel.
The UEC chairman reiterated that the use of religion for political purposes whilst campaigning for political office is prohibited by the Code of Conduct and the Election Law.
He added that the commission is vetting candidates in accordance with rules and regulations and will allow all those who are eligible to stand for election.
The Union Election Commission gave the green light on Thursday for political parties to launch their campaigns from 8 September, with the campaigning period closing on 6 November.
The voters’ list will be publicly available at UEC township offices from 14 to 27 September, so that those eligible to vote in the general election have the opportunity to confirm their names and details, according to the UEC.
During a meeting in Yangon on Tuesday between UEC and various political parties, U Tin Aye called on politicians to adhere to the Code of Conduct at all times and made a public pledge as to the commission’s commitment to holding free and fair elections.
Persons without national ID cards can still cast their ballot on 8 November if they can provide other forms of identity that prove citizenship, such as a driver’s license or student ID card.
Those whose names are not on the voters’ list may apply to regional sub-election commissions in accordance with the Election Law for clarification.
The UEC’s reasons for ruling certain candidates ineligible to become ethnic affairs ministers in states and regions drew criticism from some politicians who attended the meeting with the UEC. Eligibility is determined by the 1982 Citizenship Law, which automatically classifies a person to have inherited their father’s ethnicity unless a person states a preference to be identified as the same ethnicity as their mother at the age of 18.—GNLM


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