Military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has extended another six-months of state of emergency, and said on 1 September that the general election will be held after completing population census across the country in 2024. He also pushed members of military council to finalize census taking process in respective regions and states as early as possible.

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This interview with observer of the military’s planned election is if their voter lists will be accurate and plans to use voting machines.

 TLT: The military chief said after completing census taking in 2024, they will hold general elections. What do you think about it?

Observer: The exist of military council is the elections. Otherwise, they would  openly declare coup, and adopt new constitution.  The constitutional law does not mention that the general election would be successful only if the elections take place in certain number of towns out of 330, where they need to collect voter lists. However, the election is successful if over 30 percent of eligible voters cast their votes. So, the military will hold elections in the areas where they can as it is an exist for them. The voter list will be collected in the areas under their full control and in the ethnic areas where they are making peace whether the eligible voters cast their votes or not.

TLT: What is your view on the military’s plan to use voting machine?

Observer: There are some weaknesses even in developing countries. National ID cards have not been issued fully. No regular electricity. So, it is unreasonable for our country.

TLT: Will the military receive accurate voter lists amid instability of the country?

Observer: Although our country held general elections in 2010 some years after 1990 elections, we could not collect accurate data. The voter lists were collected based on family registration for 2010 elections. The voter lists in 2020 general elections were based on the figures of 2015 and by-elections. But the military gave the reason of false voter lists for the coup. It is nonsense. Voter lists will not be accurate at the moment.

TLT: What is your remark on voter list collection of military council for their planned election?

Observer: Due to current situations of our country, the voter lists will be accurate in upcoming elections. We have no data of rural people who have no national identity cards and are not included in family registration. To address these problems, the country will need a lot of budgets for collecting population data door to door. There will not be sufficient budget for this process because a large amount of budget was allocated to military sector. It will take time to get accurate voter lists for the fair elections. The military council need to understand these situations.

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