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34 Mon villages in Kyarinnseikkyi Township barred from voting

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Circled area on the map indicates location of the 34 villages in Kyarinnseikkyi Township (Photo: Google Map)
Circled area on the map indicates location of the 34 villages in Kyarinnseikkyi Township (Photo: Google Map)
Reported by Khittar Non, 34 Mon villages, located along between the Zami and Winyaw rivers, in Kyarinnseikkyi Township, Karen State, won’t get the opportunity to vote in the upcoming 2015 elections.

According to the Union Election Commission (UEC)’s voter-list records announced on September 14, the 34 villages are not on the list, and the village administrators said there is no voter-list announcement in the villages; thus the locals won’t have the chance to cast their votes.

Last Friday, September 18, the village administrators went to Kyarinnseikkyi Township Election Sub-commission and reported it, requesting to consider the locals vote.

“Initially, the clerk came to give the voter-list to village administrators. They came to the post in our village and my name was on the list. But when they announced the voter-list a second time, they do not come to our village. Later, I heard that our village is in the areas recognized as the areas that cannot poll due to the lack of security,” said Nai Win Shwe, a villager of Mhayit Warkon Village.

There are over 20,000 people in more than 5500 households throughout the 34 villages, which are dotted along the village-track of Taung-pauk village and near the headquarters of Moulmein District of New Mon State Party (NMSP).

“In the last election, 2010, we were also not allowed to vote. But at the time, people here also were not interested in the election very much. It was no problem since there were no polling stations here. Everyone thought it was not fair and not free elections at the time. But, this time, people have become interested in the elections. And, because they do not come to post the voter-list in our village, we now lose our citizen rights,” continued Nai Win Shwe.

About 3022 people with I.D. cards from 10 villages are eligible to vote. They were on the list as voters and the report list was submitted to the township election sub-commission, but the commission did not accept the list.

“The first time, they came to post the voter-list in our village. It was not for the whole village but half of the village. My name was not on the list. I did not know that I had to report back if my name was not on the list. And, there was no one helping us for that here. Now, this time, they have not yet come to post the voter-list. In 2010 elections, I actually got the chance to vote. A polling station was in the village,” said U Aung Min, a villager of TaungPauk Village.

U Aung Min also said that the villagers would report to respective election sub-commission about excluding their areas as possible voting constituencies and not including a voter-list. If necessary, such a matter will be reported to the union-level election commission.

“We are citizens. We have our ID cards, so we have the right to vote. We do not want to lose this right. We have the right to vote for the candidate that we like,” continued U Aung Min.

“We are still inspecting this matter. We cannot confirm anything yet,” said U Maung Maung Win, secretary of election sub-commission of Kawkareik Township.

On July 18,the New Mon State Party (NMSP) sent an informal report to Kyarinnseikkyi Township Election Sub-commission requesting the locals from those areas get to vote.

Likewise, in some areas in Kyarinnseikkyi and Three Pagodas Pass townships and in the NMSP’s territory, including Halockani and Balathonphat villages, locals are not informed yet whether they are able to vote.

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