An international election observer has uncovered a series of serious voter list irregularities ahead of Sunday’s crucial by-elections in Burma.
A total of 45 parliamentary seats are up for grabs in the weekend ballot but a preliminary report has uncovered the same name repeated up to 20 times and many dead people included on voter lists.
“The party’s members from the Maha Aung Myay Township said that they found a single name repeated as many as 15 or 20 times,” wrote the observer, who requested to remain anonymous, concerning Thanhlyat constituency in Mandalay.
“[The] name of a voter has been detected in two different polling stations. The names have the same name, father’s name and the NRC number,” said the report.
“Names of dead people in the voters list are in plenty. This perhaps reflects the inability of the heads of wards, villages and townships in entering the data correctly during the enumeration process.”
There were also problems in the Burmese capital Naypyidaw, according to the report.
“There have been allegations from the some groups, mainly NLD [National League for Democracy], that names of ghost voters have been entered in the list and migrant workers who have moved out of Naypyidaw and settled elsewhere permanently are being asked to come back to vote by showing that they are still registered as voters in the above mentioned constituencies,” he said.
NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi told a press conference on Friday that she was well aware of voting irregularities and that the by-elections “could not be considered free or fair.”
“Violation of the election law continues to happen,” she said. “We have asked them two times about violations of the regulations. But, they have not told us anything yet about this,” she said.
Tin Aye, chairman of the Union Election Commission, said that the government will conduct a free and fair election.