The Shan State Election Commission (EC) pledged its commitment to ensuring residents residing in areas controlled by the ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) in Shan State will be able vote during the 2020 general election on November 8.
During a press conference in Taunggyi earlier this week, Htin Kyaw, the chairperson of Shan State EC, touted previous examples of polling in EAO’s territories during the 2015 general election, and 2017 and 2018 by-elections as success stories. “During those elections, locals could vote peacefully and they will be able to vote during the upcoming 2020 general election,” he said.
The Ta’ang National Liberation Army and Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army said they would allow parties to launch election campaigns in their controlled area in northern Shan State and that villagers residing in its area could freely vote for who they wanted.
At this point in time, it’s too early to say if fighting between the Burma Army and the EAOs, which was breaking out last month and in June, will sour campaigning efforts or disrupt polling on the November 8 election day.