November 7th, 2010
10:27 AM ET

Vote-counting begins in Myanmar as polls close

Counting was under way Sunday in Myanmar's first election in 20 years, a poll that critics say is aimed at creating a facade of democracy.

Polls closed Sunday. Riot police roamed streets in the city of Yangon, the former national capital that is also known as Rangoon.

Election workers for the Union for Solidarity and Development (USD) had campaigned in the countryside, where many rural residents didn't know how to vote. The party is supported by the governing junta of mostly ex-military members.

"These are our candidates for this region," a USD election worker told one resident. "It is not important to put down the name of the party, but the people have to know our symbol and make their mark right here."

Because many citizens in rural areas know so little about the political process, election workers said they also had to show people how to vote.

"I am not just campaigning for our party," the election worker said. "I am educating the people on how to vote. Many people don't know how to vote."

Their word is very influential - especially in rural areas, where most people in the nation live.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. termlimits

    Be carefull what you ask for!

    November 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mano

    This just in: Obama won dictator and Pelosi won Sherrif of Yangon.

    November 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim Brieske

    Okay. Here is what must done. If an American nutjob can swim across a lake and enter the residence of the truly elected prisoner leader of Burma then our Navy Seals can.
    After that 200,000 of the world's unified soldiers invade Burma, either kill or capture the Burmese soldiers but kill their dictator General leader. Then instate the truly elected female leader and leave.
    Should take a year. But first remove the woman. Then get soldiers in position.

    November 8, 2010 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. cesar

    @Jim Brieske. So.

    November 8, 2010 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. phil

    If you have any of the original Bush/Cheney campaign apparel (lapel pins, etc), hang on to them! They were made in Myanmar (Burma). But at the time, the US had trade sanctions making it illegal to import these items. Who knows, they might be worth something someday.

    November 8, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |