Millions of Myanmar citizens abroad miss chance to vote

2015-09-02 18:03
(Phyo Hein Kyaw, AFP)

(Phyo Hein Kyaw, AFP)

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Yangon - Most of the more than 2 million Myanmar citizens living abroad have failed to register for postal voting in the November polls, an official said on Wednesday.

Only about 18 000 of more than 2 million people registered as living abroad had sent in applications before the deadline, said Tin Aye, chairperson of the Union Election Commission.

"Without co-operation from them, what else we can do for them?" he said.

Myanmar has an estimated population of 51.5 million. 

The commission also criticised parties for not co-operating enough to help correct inaccuracies in the voting lists.

It said it will release a nationwide voter list on September 14, and urged voters to go, check and correct it. 

In total, 6 189 candidates from 93 political parties had registered as of August 14, electoral authorities said last week.

At least 88 candidates were rejected based on citizenship requirements, the commission said. Eighteen of those are Muslims in the predominantly Buddhist country, reports said.

About 1 million ethnic Rohingya in the western state of Rakhine - who are also Muslims - were excluded from voter rolls even though they had been able to vote in the 2010 general election.

"They are not Myanmar citizens," one commission official said. "So, they don't need to be in voter lists."

Read more on:    myanmar

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