Most Rakhine poll stations will not operate in Nov. election: Myanmar
YANGON (MYANMAR) – Myanmar’s election committee said that more than half of the polling stations planned for strife-torn Rakhine in the November 8 election will not be operated as parts of the state are too unstable to conduct the polls.
The ethnic insurgency has intensified this year in the region where most of the seats are held by Rakhine nationalists opposed to Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The ruling National League for Democracy said three of its candidates in Rakhine were kidnapped on Wednesday while they were campaigning.
The election committee statement said that there will not be voting in some areas which are “not in a position to hold a free and fair election.”
Polls will not be held in nine out of 17 townships in Rakhine. There will be minimal voting in four, said the statement.
“This has a huge impact on us. We have only a few spots for voting left,” said Myo Kyaw, spokesman for the Arakan League for Democracy, one of the main parties in the region.
“There is no such thing as a 100% free and fair election. The election this year is worse than the others before it,” he added.