Misleading Absentee Ballot Reports Spark Concern in Myanmar Race

Misleading Absentee Ballot Reports Spark Concern in Myanmar Race

With a thirty day period to go prior to Myanmar’s common elections on Nov. 8, the county’s two primary political get-togethers warned followers on Wednesday about misleading and phony claims about absentee ballots for expatriate citizens spreading on social media.

The ruling Countrywide League for Democracy (NLD) and the army-backed Union Solidarity and Growth Social gathering (USDP) have urged social media people not to slide for or spread “fake news” stories that early overseas votes are previously currently being counted. Early absentee votes are counted only on Election Working day, they pressured.

Just about 110,000 Myanmar expatriates who are eligible to vote commenced casting ballots at abroad polling stations in the country’s a variety of embassies on Oct. 1.

When Myanmar citizens residing in South Korea submitted their ballots at the Myanmar Embassy in Seoul on Oct. 2, a wrong report began circulating on social media about the quantity of votes for leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD.

The widely shared publish mentioned: “In the abroad progress voting using area in South Korea on Oct.2, hundreds of Myanmar expatriates have been casting their ballots. The ruling NLD social gathering gained 68,000 votes.”

The Myanmar Embassy in Seoul, nonetheless, documented that there are only 9,810 registered Myanmar voters in South Korea.

Myanmar’s Election Regulation involves the heads of mission in its embassies to mail all progress votes securely enclosed in envelopes to the Union Election Commission (UEC) by means of the Ministry of Overseas Affairs.

The UEC, which oversees Myanmar’s elections, then sends the ballots to each individual abroad voter’s household polling station. The progress ballots are tallied at the polling stations on Election Day.

“Whoever started these fake experiences can derail the complete election process,” explained Thein Htun Oo, spokesman for the opposition USDP, urging people today not to share the fabricated stories.

“All the key activities of the election will take area only on Nov. 8, [so] we must not think these phony studies as the election date nears,” he additional.

Myanmar nationals line up inside the Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, on Oct. 6, 2020, to forged absentee ballots for the upcoming elections in their home country.
Photo courtesy of Myanmar Embassy in Japan

Misleading Absentee Ballot Reports Spark Concern in Myanmar Race

Scammers at operate

Bogus reports were also posted that the USDP experienced received the most votes at polling stations in the United States and Australia, though Myanmar citizens living in all those nations around the world simply cannot cast ballots till Oct. 10.

One on the web publish claimed the range of advance votes cast in the U.S. resulted in 48 votes for the NLD and 2,918 votes for the USDP.

A further article claimed that Myanmar voters in Australia cast 128 ballots for the NDP and 3,996 for the USDP.

NLD spokesman Monywa Aung Shin reported the occasion first began to see false reviews coming from Japan.

“We know they are fake reviews since the progress ballots will be included to the common ballots in the respective polling stations and counted altogether,” he told RFA.

“Scammers are spreading these wrong reviews to ridicule the opposing events and provoke resentment,” he said. “This is inappropriate. These fake experiences could incite resentment in opposing events.”

Monywa Aung Shin urged voters not to drop for the bogus experiences mainly because Myanmar’s embassies are handling the balloting meticulously.

Mon Yee Min Lwin, who forged her vote at the Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo, said “the total course of action was handy and safe” in distinction to the rumors.

“As we entered the embassy, I was accompanied to a partitioned polling station and presented a key ballot,” she explained to RFA. “I checked the desired social gathering prospect, put my ballot into the envelope, and dropped it into the ballot box.”

“The people today who are sharing phony reviews about the voting are all erroneous,” added Mon Yee Min Lwin.

Election awareness required

Mya Nandar Skinny, a advisor from the New Myanmar Basis, which monitors elections, said the fake stories about votes cast overseas most likely would have no important impact on voting in Myanmar for the reason that the figures are little.

But the incidents underscore that “we really should teach individuals extra about the election process since most persons are not conscious of the procedures,” she advised RFA.

“For illustration, when someone has preconceived notions about a political get together, they will share just about anything about the occasion without verifying the details,” Mya Nandar Slender said. “We should boost election awareness amongst the persons.”

Myanmar is a multiethnic country of 54 million folks the dimensions of France or Texas. Approximately 7,000 candidates from extra than 90 get-togethers, as properly as independents, are vying for 1,171 seats offered in each houses of the countrywide parliament and in point out and regional legislatures.

The stiffest levels of competition will be concerning the NLD, which is fielding 1,143 candidates, and the USDP, which has put ahead 1,129 candidates.

Noted by Thant Zin Oo for RFA’s Myanmar Assistance. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Composed in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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