Few migrant workers register as overseas voters in Thailand

Only 955 Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand have registered for overseas voting in the November 8 elections so far, according to the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.

The embassy began accepting registrations for overseas voting on July 16. The deadline to file Form 15 is August 5.

U Moe Wai of the migrant aid group Foundation of Education and Development said the migrant workers in Thailand may be having trouble submitting the form online.

“Migrant workers living and working in rural areas may have poor internet service,” he said, adding that in the last election about 85 percent of migrant workers were unable to vote.

Most voter registrations in Thailand were for people from Yangon Region, followed by Mon State and Bago Region.

U Thant Zin Aung, a Kayin State legislator, said many migrant workers in the kingdom were too busy trying to survive to worry about voting. “I think it would be more convenient for migrants abroad if there were voting booths near their workplaces.”

Registered Myanmar overseas voters can only vote at the embassy in Bangkok.

Aid groups said that up to 90 percent of Myanmar workers in Thailand would like to vote in the elections.

The International Organization for Migration said that 60 percent of Thailand’s 3.9 million migrant workers, or more than 2.3 million, come from Myanmar.

Thailand’s Ministry of Labour in March said there are more than 1.6 million documented Myanmar migrant workers in the kingdom. – Translated

Written by Tint Zaw Tun
Source: Myanmar Times
Published on 30 July 2020
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