Myanmar on Tuesday cancelled voting across parts of its conflict-scarred north, as hopes receded for a nationwide ceasefire before historic polls in November. Election officials said they were “not capable” of holding the vote in areas of northern Shan and Kachin states bordering China because of ongoing fighting. The move had been anticipated and mainly affects areas battered by war or beyond the government’s writ, in a country where several ethnic minority armies still resist control by the state.
“Some village areas have security restrictions and we have security concerns about those. Others are in the control of Kachin (rebels) where we are not capable of holding elections,” Tun Aung Khaing, a senior election official in Kachin State, told AFP.
Myanmar’s Union Election Commission said elections cannot be held in over 400 village areas in total, largely in Kachin and Shan in the north and Karen state in the east. Officials did not say why polls in Karen were cancelled.