Less Than 20 Percent of Paletwa’s Residents Able to Vote on Election Day

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Voters in the seven wards and one village tract allowed to vote in Paletwa Township’s election cast their ballots on Sunday.

Nineteen polling stations opened at 6:00 a.m. in four wards in Paletwa town, three in Sami, and in Shin Letwa village tract.

Of the southern Chin State township’s 102 village tracts, the Union Election Commission canceled voting in 94 of them late last month, citing ongoing instability in the region. The move disenfranchised more than 50,000 of Paletwa’s eligible voters, leaving around 10,000 people allowed to vote on Sunday.

While a Paletwa Township General Administration Department (GAD) officer described the voting as having gone “smoothly,” there were difficulties because many local people could not read Burmese, the language in which the ballots are written.

“The situation is fine. But the problem is that some elderly people could not read the Burmese language. Burmese is the language written on the ballot papers, so they could not read it and they were confused. They delayed making decisions. It took a longer time to seal the ballot papers,” GAD officer Awng Lawhar told Khonumthung News.

A total of 18 electoral candidates from the Chin National League for Democracy, the National League for Democracy, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the Khumi (Khami) National Party, and the Ethnic Nationalities Development Party ran for election in Paletwa Township on November 8.

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