An early simulated poll conducted by authorities in Chin State’s capital of Haka came up with a resounding “no” to the constitutional referendum slated for May 10. The poll, conducted as part of a state-sponsored campaign to educate and persuade voters in Chin State to vote for the new constitution, reveals that the majority of people voted “No” to the new constitution. The shocking result came as the State Peace and Development Council intensified campaign efforts in Chin State.
Earlier this month, Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs Brigadier General Thura Aung Ko, accompanied by Brigadier Genral Hung Ngai, chairman and administrative head of Chin State Peace and Development Council were in southern Chin State where they asked people to vote for the new constitution at a public meeting attended by more than 500 people forced to attend the assembly.
“You should vote in this referendum unless you wish to have another 15 years of military rule, since it was the time taken to draft the constititution by the army,” was the message delivered to the Chin public by the two ranking generals.
Meanwhile in Falam township of northern Chin State, authorities have warned public employees of termination of their jobs and punishment if they voted “no” in the upcoming referendum.
“The surprising result of the recent mock poll may have prompted the SPDC to change their campaign tactics,” observes a local person. Brigadier General Hung Ngai is now campaigning in Thantlang and Haka townships, trying to buy votes by providing 150 bags of rice to villagers who are facing food shortage due to bad harvest.
Report coming from inside Chin state said that 5 people per village including village headmen in Thantlang township have been summoned by the local authority for training on how to conduct referendum. On April 24, several mock poll station “huts” were built in front of Thantlang town hall where the training was conducted.