13 min extract from the 45-minute programme Opening Music

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Highlights from the 1 April 2012 Evening Broadcast (Sunday)

13 min extract from the 45-minute programme

Opening Music

(Presenter in London) Good evening. This is Thida Nwe. Today is 1 April 2012 and I will be presenting this evening’s programme. Voting in Burma’s by-elections has finished and the latest reports indicate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has won.

(teaser – a man) “In Kawhmu, Daw Suu is getting the most votes. The other person got only about one vote when she got around 20-30.”

We will give you the latest news on the by-elections.

(Presenter in Bangkok) From Bangkok, we will report that NLD say they won landslide victories in Magwe and Mandalay divisions, and

(teaser – a woman) “We were asked to vote at 4 o’ clock in the morning before the polls were open.”

Such voting irregularities were also reported. You will hear all in this programme. I am Ko Ko Aung.


Presenter in London

Dear Listeners

According to the latest reports that are coming in NLD is winning in most of the constituencies in the By-elections held today. Our senior correspondent Ko Min Htet is in Rangoon. Tell us what you are seeing there.

Min Htet:

I’m right in front of the NLD headquarters and I can see the LED TV screen showing the results as they come in. It says, out of 44 seats contested, the NLD has so far won 20 seats. In Rangoon, 3 out of 6 places are confirmed . I believe everyone will be eager to know if Aung San Suu Kyi has won. Yes, I can tell you now that she has beaten her rival. But I must add a warning note here that these results are compiled by the NLD. Election Commission has not said anything yet. It may take a while to get all the results as some polling stations are in remote areas. But people here are celebrating already. Large crowd of people are gathering in front of the party headquarters, waving flags, and passing cars honking horns. As a new result appears on the big screen people cheer and applaud. But we also heard reports about voting irregularities and allegations about tempering of ballot papers in some constituencies. NLD has sent a complaint letter to the Commission this afternoon.


Thank you, Ko Min Htet, we will talk about the fraud reports later in the programme.. Now let’s go to our reporter Ko Cho, who is in the capital Naypyidaw. Can you tell us the latest results?

Ko Cho:

Yes, Ma Thida. I just heard that NLD party candidate Ko Min Thu has won in 37 out of 49 polling stations in his constituency. He lost in 12 stations where many voters are from the military and their families. I have spoken with him a few minutes ago and this is what he said

Min Thu: Votes counted showed that I won majority of votes in most places. But at those polling stations inside the military cantonment, I got almost no votes. The ruling party candidate got nearly all votes.

That’s what Ko Min Thu said. I also spoke with the ruling party candidates and they told me the results are not final and they were still hopeful. Votes are being counted in other three constituencies here in Naypyidaw.


Very well, Ko Cho. We will talk to you again soon for the latest. You are listening to the special coverage of the by-elections in Burma today on the BBC Burmese. You can get in touch with us through our website www.bbcburmese.com or, by email burmese@bbc.co.uk.

Midway Sig Tune


Now let’s go to Bangkok. Ko Ko Aung, we have heard about situation in Rangoon and Naypyiday. What can you tell us about other places.. who are winning there?

Ko Ko Aung in Bangkok

Yes, Ma Thida. Votes are still being counted in Mandalay and central Burma. But so far the results show NLD candidates are winning in a landslide. An independent candidate in Meiktila where may servicemen are based, told me that the NLD candidate who ran against her was winning.

(Independent candidate) All votes in the cities went to NLD but the military votes went to the ruling party. One disappointing thing was that many people were not on the electoral roll and could not vote. That was a huge setback.

As she said, there were complaints that people went to the polling stations and found their names not in the list. Here is what a woman in Mandalay told me:

A woman: I was told to bring 4 photos and the family registration document and the original ID card. But at the poll station my name was not there and I was not allowed to vote. No one explained to me what to do.

Some were told by the authorities to cast their votes before the polls opened and under the watchful eyes of the authorities. Here is what a middle school teacher in Mandalay had to say:

A woman teacher: We were woken up at 4 in the morning and told to vote. I had no choice but to vote for the ruling party because the authorities were watching.

Despite those irregularities, NLD is winning in large numbers in those places. That demonstrates huge public support to the NLD. Back to you in London, Ma Thida.


Yes, NLD is winning in many places, but we heard that in one constituency in Shan State, the Shan candidate has beaten his NLD rival. A rare case, it seems. Let’s hear from the Vice chair of Shan Party Sai Song Si:

Sai Song Si

In Mongye constituency, out of 19 polling stations, we won in 17 and the ruling party and the NLD won in one each. The NLD candidate has got just over a 100 votes than our man. We receive reports from our men in other areas that our candidate is winning there too. NLD comes next to us. I believe that the results so far show we have won.


These are the latest results that we received. Dear Listeners, you are listening to the special coverage of the By-elections in Burma on the BBC Burmese Service. The programme is co-presented in London and Bangkok. As you have heard the results that are coming in have indicated that NLD candidates are winning. On the other hand, there were also reports of irregularities. I’ll now go back to our senior correspondent Ko Min Htet in Rangoon. How widespread are those allegations of voting irregularities?

Min Htet

NLD party said it’s quite widespread. They said they received many reports from different constituencies that voters could not tick the box beside the NLD candidate on the ballot paper. They thought the ballot papers were applied with wax.

How confirm are those allegations?

The NLD spokesperson told me that he even suspected if it was an instruction from the high levels as the incident was widespread. But, I must say here that I visited several ballot stations during the day and voting seemed to be going well without major complaints there. An EU observer I met also told me he heard such complaints of ballot paper tempering but he himself did not witness any irregularities.


To know more on vote rigging allegations, I’ll ask one of the biggest parties, National Unity Party’s candidate U Win Myint of Seikkan Township in Rangoon. What do you know?

In my township people had voted peacefully and I did not see any incident like unlawfully canvassing in front of the polling stations. Voting was smooth.

Presenter: We heard some people voiced suspicion over the alleged tempering of ballots. Some voters could not tick the box they wanted. Did you find anything irregular?

I also heard the reports that you mentioned – the allegation of wax applied on ballot papers. As a candidate I could go inside a polling station and I visited some 20 stations today. But I did not find anything improper at any of those stations.


That was the NUP candidate U Win Myint.

I’ll now go back to Ko Cho who had just been to the Elections Commission office in Naypyidaw. Any updates, Ko Cho?

Yes, Ma Thida. I’ve been to commission offices in all four Naypyidaw townships. All latest results show now that NLD candidates have won in all.

With me now is the candidate, emm.. I think I could use the term elected candidate now, Daw Sandar Min. You can ask her directly Ma Thida..


Hello Daw Sandar Min. Did you know all the results? How many votes did you get?

Yes, I won in 27 out of 36 stations and lost in 9 places. I got 5700 votes more than other candidates.

Did you also win in the military-dominated areas?

There is no military station in my constituency but I won in places where majority are civil servants. I won more than 65 per cent of their votes.


Thank you, Daw San Dar Min. Now we will go back to Ko Min Htet in Rangoon. Ko Min Htet, we heard Aung San Suu Kyi has just issued a statement, can you tell us more about it.

That’s true, Ma Thidar. NLD party leader U Tin Oo has just come out and read a statement by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She said it’s natural that the candidates and supporters will be overjoyed for the win but she requested all party members to avoid any speech or behaviour that may hurt the other groups. She attributed the win to the victory of the public. As you can hear from the background many people are gathering in front of NLD office and cheering and celebrating the victory of NLD.

Thanks Ko Min Htet, please also update the election news for our morning transmission.



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