August 19, 2016

NO BIAS IN ADVAnCE VOTING — Advance votes exceed 11,900 from 13 to 17 October

Myanmar citizens in Germany cast their votes at Myanmar embassy in Berlin. Photo:MNA
Myanmar citizens in Germany cast their votes at Myanmar embassy in Berlin. Photo:MNA

MORE than 11,900 overseas voters have cast advance votes between 13 and 17 October for the 8 November election.
According to a report by the Myanmar News Agency, the total of 11,906 overseas voters submitted advance votes up to 17 October. The advance voting period is from 13 to 23 October.
Officials of the Myanmar embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have assisted voters to cast their ballots at the embassy, accepting complaints from voters over inconveniences, according to a voter who cast her vote there on Sunday.
Some women were not found in the voting list, but the embassy helped them send their complaints to election authorities within a day, she added.
The Union Election Commission warned media to avoid biased news reporting on the election.
In a statement released on Sunday, the UEC accused the BBC of broadcasting biased news, citing a BBC report from 18 October.
An interviewee in the BBC programme said the Union Solidarity and Development party gave radios and cash to the people in Hlinethaya Township in return for their votes for the party.
Quoting a trishaw driver interviewed by the BBC, the UEC said it assumes a political party would not bribe another party’s supporters while wearing campaign stickers on their foreheads and hoisting the party’s flag on their trishaws.
“Media should follow their ethics because biased reporting can damage the freeness and fairness of the election,” the statement said.
Following the beginning of the advance voting period for overseas Myanmar nationals this week, the Union Election Commission requested on Friday that voters be patient with inconveniences in casting their ballots at embassies.
The UEC understands that it is a huge task for Myanmar embassies to arrange convenient advance voting abroad due to weak experience in holding elections and limited staff at the embassies, so voters abroad are asked to understand inconveniences there, said the statement issued by the UEC on Friday.
A ballot with a signature of an official of a Myanmar embassy is considered a valid vote, according to UEC.
The statement of the UEC also urged overseas Myanmar nationals who could not cast their advance votes during the slated period to get recommendations from the relevant officials at the embassies in order to cast their votes again on election day in Myanmar.—GNLM


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