Officials of the Election Commission (EC) under the military government have been conducting house-to-house visits in Chin State since 9 January to collect names for the upcoming general elections in August.
“Government employees who haven’t joined the CDM (Civil Disobedience Movement) have been collecting people’s lists in Myo Thit Ward of Hakha town for the past two to three days,” said a local on condition of anonymity.
Soldiers and the police are protecting them as they go door to door, he explained.
“Even if we don’t go to a polling station to cast our vote, I think they’ll count our vote as eligible, so I don’t think it’ll be a fair election.”
On 1 February 2021, the military chief Min Aung Hlaing removed the civilian government during a coup. He claimed there was electoral fraud in the 2020 election but failed to provide evidence.
Another local source, who also requested anonymity, said EC staff were collecting voters’ information in Falam town. “We don’t need to go to the polling station if we don’t want to vote.”
Election workers were also spotted in Matupi town in the south of the state.
Chin resistance groups fighting to overthrow the dictatorship have declared that they will take action against anyone who cooperates in the upcoming race planned by the regime.
On 13 January, some groups killed a police officer and injured four others guarding EC staff in Hakha. Since then, the regime has tightened security in the town.
The EC plans to visit people’s homes for the month of January.