Min Tun | DMG
23 October 2020, Sittwe

The President’s Office on October 23 shed more light on ministry and departmental inputs provided to the Union Election Commission (UEC) ahead of its decision earlier this month to cancel voting in all or parts of 56 Myanmar townships ahead of the November 8 general election. 

On October 16, the UEC said the entirety of nine Arakan State townships — Pauktaw, Ponnagyun, Rathedaung, Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Kyauktaw, Minbya, Myebon and Mrauk-U — as well as dozens of village-tracts and wards in four other townships in the state, would not be holding elections next month.

“The Ministry of Union Government Office gave the opinion that five townships [in Arakan State] cannot hold elections, election commissions gave opinions on eight townships on security grounds and the ministries of Defence and Home Affairs gave opinions on nine townships. So, the UEC announced that those nine townships cannot have elections,” U Zaw Htay, the President’s Office spokesperson, said at a virtual news conference on Friday.

In addition to the nine Arakan State townships in full, dozens of village-tracts and wards in four other townships in the state also will not be voting this year. 

The UEC has previously said that its October 16 announcement on cancelled constituencies was made after taking input from ministries and other government entities.

In the Arakan State townships only partially holding a vote, the breakdown of cancelled constituencies is as follows: two wards and 52 village-tracts in Kyaukphyu Township; three wards and 29 village-tracts in Ann Township; four village-tracts in Sittwe Township; and 10 wards and 52 village-tracts in Taungup Township.

More than 1.2 million people in Arakan State will miss out on the chance to vote in this year’s general election due to a UEC decision announced on October 16.

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