With Burma’s general election just over a week away, a senior member of the country’s main opposition party said Thursday that the union election body hadn’t adequately responded to the party’s repeated requests to tackle voter list errors.

During a meeting with top representatives of the Union Election Commission (UEC) on Thursday in Naypyidaw, Win Htein, a central executive committee member of the National League for Democracy (NLD), raised various electoral issues, primarily regarding voter list errors.

The party is increasingly concerned about inflated voter lists and, on Tuesday, the NLD’s campaign office released a directive urging all campaign teams to uncover so-called “phantom voters” on rosters around the country. The statement said that no action had been taken by township election sub-commissions despite official requests.

The UEC “admitted they are aware of the voter list inflation [issue], but… I didn’t receive a satisfactory answer from them,” Win Htein told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

The NLD has been one of the sternest critics of the UEC’s voter list rollout since the first batch of preliminary lists were released in March.

UEC officials said they had ordered the relevant local election representatives to remove ineligible or otherwise erroneously enumerated voters from lists, according to Win Htein. He added that this order, if indeed given, was not heeded.

The NLD’s statement on Tuesday said that discrepancies were particularly evident in constituencies in which senior government officials were running.

A campaign officer in the NLD’s central campaign office in Rangoon identified a related issue of people newly moving, or being moved, into a given constituency ahead of the Nov. 8 poll.

The officer said this was evident in constituencies such as Shadaw in Karenni State, where President’s Office Minister Aung Min is running, and on the Coco Islands where an ex-Navy chief and a former Rangoon Division Border Affairs and Security Minister are contesting.

“We have heard that 200 people from Hai Gyi Island have moved to the Coco Islands,” he said.

Win Htein also raised the issue with the UEC who assured him they would investigate. He said the party had to thoroughly check lists for ineligible voters before the election commission released its final rosters on Nov. 2.

“We have to check if names appearing on the lists really exist or not. If we find something irregular, we will have to complain to the UEC again,” Win Htein said.

NLD representatives in Mandalay on Wednesday said that, according to the party’s research, voter lists in at least two townships of the division contained well in excess of the estimated total number of eligible voters.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/election/news/nld-urges-election-body-to-correct-inflated-voter-lists