Authorities force people to tick on referendum eve
Local authorities had forced people to tick in support of the draft constitution during night time, and threatened them not to leak out the news, resulting in 90% support in the Kunhing township, 141 mile west of Kengtung, capital of eastern Shan State.
On 9 May 2008, at 23:00 to 24:00, local authorities from different agencies such as Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC), Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), Police and others. They were divided into 4 groups and went to 4 quarters to wake up the people from their beds.
"All those who were over 18 were told to tick in the ballot papers. Some people insisted that they were going to vote at the polling station on the next day anyway. Why couldn't the authorities allow them to do so?" said a source who recently arrived at the border.
But authorities replied, "Tomorrow you can go and vote No. But tonight you must tick in this ballot paper."
Many people were upset but they could do anything except to comply with. They [people] were then told not to leak out the news to other townships.
Local authorities announced two days later that the support for the draft constitution was 90% from Kunhing Township.
There are 1,500 to 2,000 households in Kunhing.
The constitutional referendum except for 40 townships in Rangoon, former capital of Burma, and 7 townships in Irrawaddy division which were hit by Cyclone Nargis on 2-3 May, was held on 10 May in Burma. The remaining townships will vote on 24 May.