Monday, 18 December 2017

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Election Commission officials and township authorities in Maungdaw admitted today that the National Democratic Party for Development (NDPD) swept to victory in Sunday’s national election, according to an official at the Election Commission office.

“The NDPD won 90 village tracts out of 105 in Maungdaw, but this has not officially been announced yet,” the official said.

“We worked very hard for the Union Solidarity and Development Party to win in northern Arakan State, but we were not successful.”

Throughout Maungdaw Township, polling stations open from 6am to 4pm yesterday. They were re-opened a short while later, according to reports, and finally closed at 10:30pm, according to an election watchdog group in Maungdaw.

An NDPD organizer said yesterday that party candidates had been called to a meeting Saturday night on the eve of the election and warned that their party’s candidates could be banned from participating if there were any signs of misconduct by the party.

NDPD candidates were detained in the Election Commission office until 12pm on Election Day, while USDP candidates continued to campaign in and near voting stations, the watchdog group said.

It added that the candidates were eventually allowed to leave but were prevented from serving as election monitors at polling stations.

Meanwhile, Burma’s border security force Nasaka on election day arrested Sein Aung, alias Kala Putu, a resident of Balu Khali village in Maungdaw for supporting the NDPD party, though he was released four hours later, said an elder from the village.

Others faced similar detentions. Ruhul Amin and Moulana Boni Amin from Lake Ya (Kur Khali) village were arrested by Nasaka’s area commander Major San Win Khine over their support of the NDPD, and they remain in custody, according to a Nasaka aide who asked not to be named.

Three residents from Kyauk Chaung (Shil Khali) village and four others from Zeebin Chaung (Zeepin Khali) village were also arrested, the watchdog group said, adding that about 46 people in total were arrested on election day in Maungdaw.

Isolated violence also erupted between supporters of rival political parties.

USDP and NDPD members clashed in Harsara village in Maungdaw, said a resident of the Aley Thankayaw village tract.

The watchdog group also reported that one voter in Kyikanpin (Kawar Bill) went to the polls and was permitted to vote for all his family members because he was supporting the USDP. It was for everyone who support USDP.

In Krinthama village tract in Buthidaung, the majority of voters cast their ballots for NDPD candidates. In response, polling officials intervened to force them to support the USDP, said a politician from Maungdaw.

NDPD candidates reportedly won the majority of votes in Taung Bazar in Buthidaung Township.

Despite reports of widespread support for the NDPD, villagers are still worried about the final election results, the politician said.

The authorities of Maungdaw and election commission officials are going to discard the ballots papers from USDP 2% and IN NDPD will be 20% to count the ballots papers, according to an official from commission office in the evening. “The officials are planning to reduce more ballots papers from NDPD account comparing with USDP.”