Temporary visa for foreign scribes covering Myanmar polls

Nay Pyi Taw, Oct 26 (IANS) Myanmar’s information ministry is arranging one-month visa for foreign correspondents who wish to cover the upcoming general election set for November 8, a statement said on Monday.

The foreign correspondents have been asked to collect media accreditation cards, issued by the Union Election Commission, after their arrival and contact the local Myanmar Foreign Correspondents Club, Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry statement as saying.

Foreign correspondents with media accreditation cards will be able to cover the election processes throughout the country, the statement said, adding that if they want to cover news in the compound of polling stations during the elections, they will be required to seek special permission from respective district and township election commission offices to be able to enter the compound.

Meanwhile, there has been 10,789 local observers in 12 groups along with international observers, including those from the European Union.

A total of 6,065 candidates including 310 independents will compete for seats in parliament, according to the election commission.

Of the candidates, 5,755 are nominated from 91 political parties in addition to 310 independent runners.

The commission designated 1,163 constituencies for the vote at four levels of the parliament across the country, including the House of Representatives (Lower House), the House of Nationalities (Upper House), the Region or State Parliament and national race representatives.

There are 35 million eligible voters in the country.

The election commission is opening a total of 40,516 polling booths in the country, most of which are located in Yangon, Mandalay, Ayeyawaddy, Bago and Magway regions.

Meanwhile, 22,187 overseas Myanmar citizens out of 29,000 eligible ones have so far cast advance votes at polling stations opened at 44 embassies and consulates around the world.

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