Fraud Propels USDP to Victory in Tamu Township, Sagaing Div.
9 November 2010: Electoral fraud in the form of irregular advance voting and threat tactics against voters have propelled the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to victory in Tamu Township of Sagaing Division.
Advance voting started on Thursday, November 4 and continued through to Saturday, the eve of the November 7 polls in Tamu Township.
A polling officer working at a polling station in Tamu Township, who cannot be named for security reasons, told Chinland Guardian, “The polling officers are almost entirely from the USDP. They marked the ballot papers for illiterate, disabled and elderly voters in favour of the USDP and put them in the ballot box on their behalf.”
The polling officer said that the USDP was using the influential local youth group Khawtlang Thalai Pawl (KTP) as a tool to coerce voters into voting for the junta-backed party in the Township.
“The President of the KTP went around town telling people that anyone found to have not voted in favor of the USDP will be shunned by the community.”
For the tight-knit Chin community living in Tamu Township, the prospect of being shunned by the community is a big threat. One such instance of shunning could include the community not helping them in times of death in the family.
Fewer voters came out to vote on the actual day of voting on Sunday in Tamu Township.
“In the end, the USDP defeated the Chin Progressive Party (CPP) by a margin of just 300 votes,” said the polling officer.