UEC Declares 2019 ‘Year of Voters’ List’ ahead of Next Year’s Polls

The Union Election Commission also urged political parties to do more to educate the public about their rights as voters.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) is working overtime to ensure that the list of eligible voters in the country is complete and accurate ahead of next year’s general elections, according to commission officials.

“As preparation for the 2020 general elections, the UEC is trying to get the exact number of people who should be on the list, because we don’t want any citizen to lose their right to vote,” said Saw Daniel Kyi, a UEC official who spoke to NMG.

“This is why we are calling this year the ‘Year of the Voter List 2019,’” he added.

He made the remarks during a recent visit to Mon State, where the UEC held talks with political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Mawlamyine on July 8.

He also stressed the importance of public participation when collecting the relevant data, and urged political parties, candidates, and CSOs to do more to promote voter education.

The UEC made similar preparations ahead of the 2010 and 2015 general elections, but admitted that it had made mistakes. That’s why they are doing their best to improve their performance this year, officials said.

Nai San Tin, the secretary of the Mon Unity Party, told NMG that the talks would have been more productive if they had been held in Naypyidaw with senior UEC officials.

“The UEC officials who were here came just for discussions and to collect information, but they weren’t given any decision-making powers. So we would like to call on the UEC to invite all political parties to Naypyitaw to discuss the election,” said Nai San Tin.

At the meeting, participants discussed a number of issues related to the voter list, including cases of eligible voters who were not included on the list for various reasons, as well as the failure to remove the names of deceased voters.

The status of voters living abroad and the voting rights of migrant workers and disabled people were other topics of discussion.

Hein Lin Htet, the managing director of the Mon State Election Commission, said a greater effort would be made to include overseas voters in next year’s elections.

According to the state’s election commission, there were more than 1.2 million eligible voters in Mon State during the 2015 general elections.