Sunday, 26 January 2020

Mizzima News

Love me, love my dog
 4:50 p.m.

Reuters reporter Andrew Marshall wrote on Monday:

"Suu Kyi says she will look for a second home in Naypyitaw, which is a four-hour drive from the commercial capital Yangon. 'Because don't forget I have a dog,' she says, 'and I have to take him with me.'

"Tai Chi Toe, a gift from her son, Kim, will be a welcome distraction: Naypyitaw is reputedly so dull no foreign embassy has moved there."
NLD headquarters new tourist mecca
 4: 15 p.m.

The ramshackled NLD headquarters, known affectionately as “the cow shed,” is now a symbol of world-famous dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her political party, and it’s turned into a hot new stop on Asia's tourist trail, reports Patrick Barta of the Wall Street Journal:

“Why go to the beaches of Thailand when you can do this?” asked Jan Van den Broeck, a 24-year-old Belgian traveler, as he poked through Suu Kyi souvenir calendars and T-shirts, including one bearing her image and the words, “I love you all,” one recent afternoon. “My brothers will love this,” he said of the souvenirs.

Tables are stacked high with piles of Aung San Suu Kyi shirts, posters, key chains, baseball caps, and images of The Lady wearing colorful tribal hats.
D-wave journal

More election analysis
 4 p.m.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr on Monday called the election a substantial step forward.

"We're disposed to ease sanctions once the elections we've seen are ticked off as having been genuine," he said, while cautioning that Burma still has repressive laws  on the books and thousands of political prisoners still in custody. "Our consideration of easing sanctions will be proportionate," he said, and will occur after talks with other Southeast Asian nations, the U.S. and Europe.
Round up of election views
 3:40 p.m.

Burmese Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, speaking to reporters in Phnom Penh ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, called the elections "free, fair and transparent," according to the Associated Press. Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said poll observers reported a high turnout, while Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the voting will further ensure recent reforms will be "irreversible," the AP reported.
State-run newspaper: no NLD mention
 1:25 p.m.

The state-run newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar, in its April 2 election story made no mention of Aung San Suu Kyi or the National League of Democracy. The story ticked off where various high government officials voted on election day.

Will the NLD's big win appear in the April 3 issue? Maybe, maybe not. It makes you wonder about the Ministry of Information's drum beat about new media laws being on a par with other Asian countries. Maybe Vietnam and Laos.
Sunday's celebration
Video from the Voice of America:

Voting in Mingala Taungnyunt
 11:42 a.m

Interesting description by poll monitor Danny Lee, the director of Community Affairs Development with the Asean Secretariat:

“Back to closing at our first polling station at Mingala Taungnyunt. The vote count was the most straightforward and environmentally friendly method I’ve seen. When time came to close the polls, officials stood at the doorway, and loudly announced that voting had closed. In front of more than a hundred people that had gathered, the ballot boxes were opened, and the spoilt votes were shown to party representatives, before they were set aside. Then came the vote count.”

“Five officials represented five candidates at the counting. With all the officials facing the crowd, every ballot was checked and placed in a plastic basket in front. By the time the last vote was assigned, it was clear that the Opposition had won...”

“Watching the celebrations around me, I am moved by what I have seen over the past few days. The spirit of hope and the readiness by all the key players to move ahead is just remarkable. Although the crowd at Mingala Taungnyunt were behind the NLD, no one – not a single voice among that hundred-plus crowd had jeered at the ruling USDP. People at front updates to people at the back, so everyone knew what’s happening. Myanmar voters have shown that jubilant celebrations need not be rowdy.

“When we visited Ms Aung San Suu Kyi last month, she had half-jokingly suggested that Myanmar will be the advanced member of ASEAN in 20 years time. With its resourceful and positive people, and the country’s rich resources, I would not treat her statement as a joke.

“As I packed my bags, ready to catch the morning flight to Phnom Penh tomorrow, I feel a swelling of pride, joy, and expectation for this lovely country. You have shown great spirit and promise.  As you take the first step towards national reconciliation and development, I have nothing but good wishes and lots of affection for this Golden Land and its lovely people.”

For the full report, go to
A poll station in Mingala Taung Nyunt Township

Dusting off the voting rolls reports: “Election commissions around Burma, a country in which elections have long been a rarity, reportedly dusted off the 2010 voter rolls without updating them. Opposition parties, especially the NLD, challenged the lists and in many cases the lists were changed several times. But on voting day, many errors were still reported.” Not surprising... Reports say the NLD has notified the Election Commission of more than 50 election abuses. See this link:
Post-By-election Day (April 2)
 NLD supporters celebrate the victory in the by-election

Mizzima founder Soe Myint talks about historic Burmese by-election
10:16 p.m. 



So far, election irregularities appear relatively minor
8:20 p.m. 

While it's still very early, many observers and international reporters are commenting on the relatively minor irregularities and voting abuses in the by-election so far. When compared to many Asian countries where voting is accompanied by murders, attacks by thugs, rampant, massive vote buying, shameless stuffing of ballots (that could still happen) and other serious, organized abuses, the Burmese by-election may just possibly go down as fairly clean by the standards of the Asian region. But we'll have to wait for reports to confirm that...

However, if the NLD candidates post a clear victory, it will be hard to claim a rigged election. Campaign abuses, yes; problems with voting rolls, yes; abuses by local polling officials, yes; but outright stealing of the election: that would be hard to claim in face of what looks like the anticipated NLD victory that many Burma observers predicted. While the Union Election Commission members may stumble on procedures and organization, and local EC officials may show favoritism and abuse the process, the same type of lapses occur in all countries. 

The most organized abuse seems to be the waxing of ballots, making it difficult for voters to record a vote for the NLD.
Suu Kyi takes her constituency in landslide: NLD
8 p.m. 

Almost as soon as polls closed, the NLD said based on voting patterns Aung San Suu Kyi had garnered a sweeping win in Kawhmu Township, where she campaigned relentlessly as if there was doubt that she would win in the poor constituency dominated by Karen on the outskirts of Rangoon.
Voter stymied by wax on ballot
7:37 p.m.

An example of voting irregularities from our reporter in Rangoon: Kyaw Swe, one of a five-member family based in the Thone Gwa township in Rangoon Division, said all of the family were left off the voter list.

“Even though I reported to the township’s election commission, the office was unable to organize an arrangement for the family to participate in voting,” said Kyaw Swe, adding that his family planned to vote for the National League for Democracy (NLD).

88-Generation Student leader Ko Ko Gyi That was a common case in many constituencies in Yangon, said leading political activist Ko Ko Gyi, especially in Dagon Seikkan and Mayan Gone townships. Ko Ko Gyi is a member of the 88-Generation students who are monitoring the election.

“We have found many complaints from those eligible to vote, who have not been listed to vote, despite that fact that they have national ID cards and are listed in the official census,” Ko Ko Gyi told Mizzima News.

A 35-year-old voter from Rangoon Division’s Hlegu Township said she could not write down a clear tick mark on her ballot.
“Probably, the card was covered with a plastic-like thing [wax],” the woman said.

Meanwhile, a man in Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township in Rangoon said he voted for the NLD’s Phyu Phyu Thin.

“Ï voted for the NLD, based on not what the candidate said during the campaign, but based on what the candidate had done for the community upfront,” he said.

The candidate, Phyu Phyu Thin, has taken care of HIV patients in association with the NLD.

NLD claims Phyu Phyu Thin has won Parliament seat
7:45 p.m.

Based on unofficial results, the NLD says the vote count at polling station number 3 in Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township constituency indicates Phyu Phyu Thin will go to Parliament. Phyu Phyu Thin heads the NLD's volunteer HIV/AIDS relief center in Rangoon.
NLD claims lead in Naypyitaw constituency
7:15 p.m.

NLD officials say that based on unofficial results its candidate is leading in Dakhinathiri constituency in Nay Pyi Taw, the home ground of the Burmese government. A win there would definitely be considered an upset.

Officials also said their candidate is leading in the MaUpin constituency in Irrawaddy District.

NLD claims wins in 12 constituencies in unofficial results
6:30 p.m.

The NLD party says based on the voting in various constituencies it believes it has achieved victory in the following townships so far:

Dagon Seikkan
Mingalar Taung Nyunt
Pyin Oo Lwin
Pwint Phyu
Khayan Thongwa
Maha Aung Myay (Mandalay)
NLD supporters gather at headquarters to celebrate (Photo Essay)

Voting in Kawmhu
5:25 p.m.

A polling station in Majikan village in Kawmhu township

Mizzima on NLD LED in Rangoon

The level of Internet and cell phone sophistication has increased markedly during the by-election campaign. This picture shows a Mizzima news account displayed on the new LED screen in front of the headquarters of the National League for Democracy in Rangoon.  Photo: Mizzima
Polls are closed: Vote counting begins
5 p.m.

The historic by-election in Burma is over and vote counting has begun in areas across the country. Officials results are not expected until next week. The NLD headquarters in Rangoon said early reports indicate that the NLD is leading in many constituencies, including Kawmhu where Suu Kyi is a candidate.
Phy Phy Thin visits a polling station

NLD candidate Phyu Phyu Tin visits polling station No. 2 in Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township where she is a NLD candidate. Veteran politician Thu Wai of the Democratic Party Myanmar is also contesting for the same seat. By-election polling stations are now closed for the day and tabulating ballots has began in many constituencies.

Polling station nearly empty
3:30 p.m.

Voting station No. 1 in southern Kawmhu Township, where Aung San Suu Kyi is contesting, is clean and orderly, but nearly empty when this picture was taken.  Photo: Mizzima / Min Min Oo
Early voting irregularities reported
3 p.m.

Reports of voting irregularities range from bureaucratic mistakes to violations of law – one example of alleged cheating was reported by the NLD in Sagaing Region in upper Burma, Burma Election Watch reports.

“Since this morning [Saturday], early vote collecting is going on in every village in our township. In one village, the election commission chairperson is going door to door to get early votes [of unregistered people]. It’s totally against the law,” said Khin San Hlaing, a National League for Democracy candidate running for a seat in the People’s Assembly in Sagaing.

According to the election law, a person who wants to vote in advance needs to register with the EC. Then officials will go visit the voter’s home and collect their vote.

But in Sagaing, Khin San Hlaing said, ward-level EC officials are collecting votes from people who never registered for advance voting. She reported the issue to the township-level commission.

Compared to Philippines, Burmese campaign lead-up ok: diplomat
2:52 p.m.

Burma’s problems in the run-up to today’s elections are “very minor” compared to threats, violence and “black propaganda” common in elections in the Philippines, Filipino diplomats in Burma told ANC TV. For a report, go to;
Khin Nyunt, former intelligence chief, votes
1:57 p.m.

Former chief of Military Intelligence and former Primer Minister Khin Nyunt teased reporters on Sunday, saying that he cast his ballot for a party that is supported by many people.

Khin Nyunt, along with his wife and son, went to a polling station at Ward No. 7 in Mayangon Township, Rangoon, about 9 a.m, said reporter Lin Bo Bo. Journalists asked him which party he favored, and he said a party that is popular.

His son, Zaw Naing Oo, said that he personally voted for the “Fighting Peacock” [the NLD].

Voting in Lashio is 'good'
1:40 p.m.

National League for Democracy (NLD) candidate Sai Myint Maung tells Mizzima reporter Phanida that voting in polling stations in downtown Lashio Township in  Shan State is going smoothly. Voting may also be going on in some areas where voting was postponed for security reaons, said Sai Myint Maung. Security guards are posted at the polling stations, he said.      

“The latest information we had is that there would be no polling station in the 11 villages in Tangyang. But, the commission said that they would try to hold the by-elections in those locations. They said they would try it against all odds,” Sai Myint Maung said.

The NLD, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, National Unity Party, Lahu National Development Party and Kokang Democracy and Unity Party are competing for an seat in the Upper House of Parliament.

President Thein Sein votes
12:47 p.m.
President Thein Sein cast his ballot  in the Zabuthiri constituency in Naypyitaw on Sunday morning. Observers say the government-backed ruling party candidates will do well around Naypyitaw, the home of many state employees. When reporters asked the president about the election, he said: "Everything is fine." Photo: Mizzima.

Aung San Suu Kyi returns to Rangoon
12:28 p.m.

Aung San Suu Kyi's security team says she returned to her home in Rangoon about 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, after spending the night in Wa Thin Kha village in Kawhmu Township. She visited the polling station in Wa Thin Kha village  at 7 a.m. and other polling stations in nearby villages. Sources told Mizzima reporter Lynn Bo Bo she will rest at her home while awaiting the closing of the polls.
NLD's effect in Parliament
12:11 p.m.

In the Friday issue of the weekly Myanmar Times, a member of Parliament is quoted on the entrance of the National League for Demcocracy into the legislative body:

“There will be more differences [of opinion] in the hluttaws [Parliament] when the NLD is present. Debates must happen among parties, it’s not a problem, just an aspect of democratisation. But the main issue is how to work for national reconciliation. We want to speed up democratisation within the framework of national reconciliation,” said U Thein Nyunt, the representative for Thingangyun for the New National Democracy Party.

New Light of Myanmar on Election Day: No mention
11:48 a.m.

The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper for April 1 has no mention of the historic 2012 by-election or Aung San Suu Kyi's campaign. The top story is the speaker of the Upper House attends the 20th Asean Summit in Cambodia.

11:15 a.m.

A voter cast her ballot at polling station No. 2 in Pathein Nyunt Ward in Mingala Taungnyunt Township on Sunday morning, April 1, 2011. Photo: Mizzima / Lynn Bo Bo

A woman scans the eligible vote list at polling station No. 2 in Pathein Nyunt Ward in Mingala Taungnyunt Township on
Sunday morning, April 1, 2011. Photo: Mizzima / Lynn Bo Bo
To report election violations
11:10 a.m.

Anyone who witnesses election fraud or irregularities in Burma has been asked to report their observations to the 88-Generation Students group: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Advance voting not smooth in Shan State
11 a.m.

Burma News International reports that, “In Lashio, state personnel were summoned a week in advance to cast advance votes by the Township Election Commission chairman U Tha Oo, in defiance of the dates fixed for advance voting by the Union Election Commission, 30-31 March. “Of course, it was not quite as widespread and blatant as in the November 2010 elections,” said an informed resident. “But it’s still a breach of the rules.”

See link at
Kawhmu voters wildly enthusiastic
9:44 a.m.

Kawhmu – For some video, photos, and a story  from Kawhmu Township where Suu Kyi is spending the day, see the story and photos at:;

Space for NLD on ballot paper waxed over
9:16 a.m. 

Rangoon –  Reporter Lin Bo Bo said National League for Democracy (NLD) party agents at polling stations say in many some constituencies the ballots where a voter would "check" for the NLD have been "waxed over" so voters can not make their check mark.

At the South Dagon Seikkan No. 67 Ward polling station No. 1, he said,  “The space for our party on these ballot papers were waxed over so voters could not vote for our party. The polling station officials exchanged these papers with ordinary ones three times when we lodged complaints."

He reported the issue to other polling stations in the South Dagon Seikkan Township constituency and to the NLD headquarters. Similar cases were found in other polling stations in states and regions and the irregularities were reported to party representatives in other township constituencies, NLD party spokesman Nyan Win told Mizzima.

"We are now preparing to lodge complaints to election commissions in these states and regions. The police have a responsibility to take action on these cases,” he told Mizzima.
Last Updated ( Monday, 02 April 2012 18:58 )  

TV News

Phyu Phyu Thin of Mingala Taung Nyunt Township visits polling station No. 2

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