Election Cancellation in Paletwa Demonstrates Govt’s Weakness, CHRO Says

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The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) blamed the government for the fact that many people in southern Chin State couldn’t participate in the recent national election in Burma. 

CHRO field director Ko Tayya told Khonumthung News because only 20 percent of Paletwa Township could vote, it demonstrates the weakness of the government, which was unable to uphold the rights of the people. It could be related to “security” or “transportation”, he said, but it doesn’t change the fact that many have “lost their rights to choose someone to represent them” in Parliament. And the government is “fully responsible” for this.

Due to regional instability, the Union Election Commission (UEC) claimed it needed to stop polling in 94 of the 102 townships in southern Chin State. A move that resulted in the disenfranchisement of over 50,000 people. Only around 10,000 citizens were allowed to vote on the November 8 election day.

The Burma Army and Arakan Army are fighting in southern Chin State.

Although expecting the UEC to cancel the poll due to the “escalating clashes in Paletwa”, Nan Wai, spokesperson for Khumi Affairs Coordinating Council (KACC), said no-one could say the election was “free and fair”. Despite the cancellation of most polling, she welcomed the fact that the Khumi community was still able to elect one representative for Paletwa Township.

Polling was allowed in four wards in Paletwa town, three in Sami town and Shin Letwa village-tract. There were 19 polling stations open on election day.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy was the victor in Paletwa

Township and across Burma, winning yet again another landslide victory.

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