Voters reveal injustices in 10 May referendum

Jun 23, 2008 (DVB), Voters in Burma's national referendum on 10 May testified about official violations of referendum regulations at a hearing session held at the National League for Democracy headquarters on Friday afternoon.

Khin Htun, the NLD youth leader for Lower Burma, told DVB that the two-hour hearing was organised by the decision of the June 6 NLD youth meeting.

"The military regime issued referendum rules and regulations and promised that it would hold the referendum fairly," said Khin Htun.

"However, when the referendum was held, officials at different levels violated their own rules and rigged the votes," he said.

"Voters came to us today to testify about who violated referendum rules and regulations and what they had experienced when they cast their vote so we will be able to appeal to the authorities to take action against those responsible."

The hearing was attended by about 60 township NLD youth members, Organising Committee members and referendum voters.

Voters explained how lower-level regime authorities had used different methods including persuasion, threats and intimidation and complicated voting systems to manipulate ballots and gain support for the constitutional referendum.

On 29 May, the regime's leader senior general Than Shwe announced that the state constitution had been adopted by 92.48 percent of eligible voters.

"We are going document the testimonies. When we take action against violators in accordance with the law, we will hand over the documents to a legal organisation," added Khin Htun.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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