According to the 2014 census, about 2 million Myanmar are living abroad, with about 70 percent in Thailand. However, the number is thought to be much higher, with 2-3 million in Thailand alone. And not all those who have registered will get the right to vote. UEC chair U Tin Aye said the commission is checking applications, known as “Form 15”, and comparing them with the voter lists back in Myanmar to determine eligibility. “We will be issuing the final voter list for the whole country on September 14,” U Tin Aye said. “This list will determine who has the right to vote.” Officials did not clarify where the Form 15 supplicants had submitted their applications from. The Myanmar Times called the Myanmar embassies in Thailand and Malaysia multiple times to ask how many people had filed applications but there was no answer.
Ma Hay Man Thwe, a member of a Bangkok-based migrant affairs organisation, said she believed few people had submitted applications in Bangkok because the embassy had done little to inform migrants about their rights. It issued a single statement on voting and had done no awareness-raising activities within Myanmar communities in Thailand.
“As far as I know, only a few people have submitted advance voting forms and most that I have spoken to are not interested,” she said. “The process is complicated and the embassy has done nothing to help people submit applications.”
Full Article: Millions abroad to miss out on chance to vote on November 8.