Tu Ja, a Catholic Kachin politician from the Kachin State Democracy Party, predicted the closure of polling stations in some constituencies, especially in Kachin Independence Army-controlled areas and border regions.
“Each citizen’s vote is very important for candidates, especially ethnic representatives who will be able to help the state’s development. But I have a bit of concern that the people in conflict areas and the [displaced people] will lose their right to vote,” Tu Ja, a former vice president of the Kachin Independence Organization, told ucanews.com on Aug. 21.
More than 100,000 Kachins have been displaced since 2011 following the breakdown of a 17-year ceasefire between Myanmar’s military and Kachin rebels.
Internally displaced people, many of them Christians, have been living in temporary camps in government and rebel-controlled areas in Kachin and northern Shan states.
Tu Ja said people in Kachin state are willing to vote but voting lists have not been put up in all camps.
“I think not all Kachin [displaced people] will get a chance to vote, which could lead to losses for ethnic candidates as most of the people will surely vote for ethnic parties. But I have a high expectation that more Christian ethnic Kachins will win parliament seats [regardless],” said Tu Ja...