Min Tun | DMG
6 November 2020, Sittwe

More than 300 advance votes in Sittwe Township’s Amyint Kyun village have been annulled following the discovery of stamping on ballot papers that was unauthorised.

Due to the mistake, the village election commission chairman has been suspended from his duties, according to the township election subcommission.

Disputes erupted after 15 advance ballot papers had been found to have been stamped in advance in the block [space] of U Zaw Ko Ko Lin, the Pyithu Hluttaw candidate of the Arakan Front Party for the village.

Due to the incident, all advance votes across the entire village have been cancelled but constituents will be allowed to vote as ballots are cast on Election Day.

The Sittwe Township election subcommission met with responsible officials from departments, organisations and political parties and agreed to cancel the advance votes, said U San Tha Maung, chairman of the Sittwe Township election subcommission.

“We will reject these ballots because of suspicion. So, we will keep them and seal them as suspicious votes without checking who has won and who has not won. We will give them all to vote on Election Day so that the voters as well as the candidates do not lose their rights,” he said.

“The decision has been made in accordance with Section 47(b) of the Election Law. The chairman and secretary of the Amyint Kyun village election subcommission will be suspended from their election duties,” said U San Tha Maung.

The Arakan National Party’s U Tun Tun Aung, who will stand for State Hluttaw seat from Sittwe Township Constituency No. 2, said the township election subcommission’s decision was fair.

“If they cancelled only 15 ballots and kept the others, there will be criticisms. What they have done clarified all and not doubt,” said U Tun Tun Aung, who was involved in dispute settlement.

The township election subcommission has informed the ward and village election subcommissions to be righteous as it discovered they did not understand their rights properly, he said.

There are more than 1,700 eligible voters in Amyint Kyun village, out of which more than 300 had made such advance votes.

The Sittwe Township election subcommission said there are more than 170,000 voters in Sittwe Township.

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