Embassies urge Myanmar expats to register to vote

Myanmar embassies abroad are urging their citizens to register to vote in the November elections.

The Union Election Commission (UEC) announced on July 2 that overseas voters could fill out Form 15 to register to vote starting on July 3. The forms can be submitted to the embassy between July 16 and August 5.

The Myanmar Embassy in Israel urged Myanmar workers and students in Israel and Cyprus to register for the vote.

Although the embassy allows Myanmar citizens to submit the form via email, embassies in Singapore and Japan urged Myanmar citizens to submit the form in person.

Naw Htoo Htoo, who lives in Singapore, said, “I initially planned to submit the form at the embassy in person. However, some groups said they would help those who don’t have time to go in person by collecting the forms at Peninsula Plaza, and submitting them for us.”

The voter registration form can be found on embassy websites or the UEC website.

Ma Thandar Zaw, a student in Toshima city, Japan, said, “The embassy asked for our personal information and contact number, and said they would send information on how to submit the voter registration form. I don’t think we need to submit it in person.”

The UEC announce last week that the general election will be held on November 8 but has yet to announce the dates for absentee voting for citizens living abroad.

U Kyaw Myint, who handles migrant worker affairs for the Confederation of Trade Unions in Myanmar, urged the government to make special arrangements for Myanmar people living outside Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, to register.

“People in Bangkok have no problem because they are near the embassy. In Thailand, there are nearly 3 million Myanmar nationals, so it is not easy for all of them to register,” he said. “They can vote only if they have official documentation, so the government will need to arrange these as soon as possible.”

U Moe Wai of the Thailand-based Foundation for Education and Development said that in the 2015 elections, only a few hundred migrant workers in Thailand were able to vote, and in Malaysia, only Myanmar civil servants and overseas students could vote through the embassy.

Written by Swe Lei Mon and Tint Zaw Tun
Source: Myanmar Times
Published on 6 July 2020
Link: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/embassies-urge-myanmar-expats-register-vote.html

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