The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

Home NEWS Regime Allows Outside Visits to Selected Polling Stations

Regime Allows Outside Visits to Selected Polling Stations

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RANGOON — Foreign diplomats and Burmese journalists working for foreign news media will be able to visit carefully selected polling stations on election day, the Burmese government has announced.

A government announcement invites diplomats and correspondents interested in observing the Nov. 7 election at firsthand to notify the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The “observers” will be divided into 18 groups and taken to polling stations selected by the government, which is arranging transport by air and official automobiles. Up to 10 polling stations can be visited by each group—a total of less than 200 of the 40,000 voting centers that are open on Nov. 7.

Visits to polling stations in Rangoon, eastern and western Pegu Division and Naypyidaw will be day trips. An overnight stay on Nov. 6 will be necessary in destinations that are further afield—for instance, Kachin State, Sagaing Division, Tenessarim Division, Shan State, Arakan State, Karen State, Mon State, Irrawaddy Division, Kayah State and Magwe Division.

In Magwe Division, only polling stations in urban areas can be visited. In western Pegu Division the diplomats and correspondents will be able to observe voting only in Prome.

Groups traveling to Irrawaddy Division will be confined to Bessin and barred from observing voting in areas affected by Cyclone Nargis such as Labutta, Bogalay, Pyarpon, Daydaye and Ngapudaw.

In Tenessarim Division, visits will be allowed to selected polling stations in Magwe. Other centers where visits will be allowed are in Monywa (Sagaing Division), Haka (Chin State), Myitkyina (Kachin State), Taunggyi (southern Shan State), Lashio (northern Shan State), Kengtung (eastern Shan State), Loikaw (Kayah State), Sittwe (Arakan State), Pha-an (Karen State) and Moulmein (Mon State)


Nyan_win80"Once her [Aung San Suu Kyi's] sentence expires in November, and that notion is not disputed, it is our understanding that she will have served her sentence."
—Nyan Win, the foreign minister of Burma


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