Polling station officers in Shan State South’s Loilem township were reportedly directed by Township Election Commission members to give advance signatures for 150 ballot papers each saying they were for advance voters, according to sources close to officers.
“My friend who is one of the officers in charge of polling stations had signed on 26 October,” said a source.
There will be 46 polling stations in Loilem. Other 45 officers were also reported to have been asked to sign for the same number of ballots each, said another source.
According to the elections manual issued by the Election Commission, there will be 1 polling station for every 300 voters.
“The papers therefore are for 6,900 in total. But to my knowledge, the number of advance voters are not that many, not more than 20 per quarter,” he said.
“Suspicion therefore has mounted whether the EC members are finding a way for the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to get more votes.”
There are three parties competing in Loilem, Shan Nationalities Democratic Parties (SNDP), National Unity Party (NUP) and USDP. But only the SNDP and the USDP are said to have been running neck to neck.
Local sources say, the SNDP is said to have gained more support than the USDP because most of its candidates are well-known there.
Similar story has been reported in Rangoon that Burmese voters are pressured by local authorities and members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to cast advance ballots before the upcoming election, according to a report by Irrawaddy.
Due to such advance vote, Democratic Party (Myanmar) (DPM) had lodged a complaint to the Election Commission that this violated the Election Commission’s decision which “except voters who are unable to go to the polling station on Election Day, no voters are allowed to cast an advance vote.”
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