Struggle for Democracy in Myanmar (November 7, 2010)

It was 6 in the morning on a Sunday and there were unusually only a few vehicles and passers by in the streets. That day was November 7, 2010 and, for the first time in 20 years, the general election was held throughout Myanmar.

At around 5.30 am, people began to flock Polling Station Number 8 in Hledan in Kamaryut Township. At the polling booth, they provided ballot boxes for the different positions for the Lower House, Upper House, and regional parliaments. I watched for a moment how the people voted. I also spoke with the security, asking permission to take photos but they did not allow me.

After a few minutes, I decided to go to the Embassy of Indonesia for our weekly exercise. I chose to ride the bus so I would be able to see other poll booths. When I arrived at the embassy, the security said that it was closed that day and that embassy officials were also monitoring the election. I, then, decided to go around Yangon by bus. From the bus, I saw people flocking to the poll stations. I observed that the voting booths were usually place inside schools, offices, or even on parking lots for apartment, all of them strictly guarded
with non-uniformed officers.

When I came back to our apartment at around 9:30 am, I noticed that only a few people were voting. I stayed inside our apartment the whole day. At 3 pm, I again headed out to the nearest polling station.

Campaign Session

I was informed that there were supposedly 5,000 voters for that particular booth but only 1,487 voted. The counting of votes began at around 5 pm and lasted almost four hours. I carefully followed the vote count to finish and the National Democratic Force (NDF) won most of the seats in this polling booth. But the votes for NDF in this polling booth wasn’t enough to match the majority winner for the whole country, the USDP.

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