The polling stations are open for voters from 6 am to 4 pm.
“So far, we haven’t seen the authorities intimidating voters. They are casting their votes freely,” a voter from Hakha, capital of Chin state said.
The voters in Tedim and Hakha townships are likely to reject the regime’s draft constitution by marking ‘X’ on the balloys, U Van Lian, Chairman of National League for Democracy in Hakha said.
“I marked the ballot ‘X’ and cast it into the ballot box,” a voter from Hakha who requested anonymity said.
The mark ‘X’ means a ‘No’ vote.
However, a majority of voters in Rih town on the Indo-Burma border might vote “yes” as the people believe that the regime is sure to rig the votes, a local from Rih town said.
“It won’t make any difference whether we vote ‘No’ or ‘Yes’ as the regime will certainly rig the polls.”
At the same time, ‘Vote No’ posters and pamphlets are seen in every corner of towns and villages in Chin state.
“This morning, some soldiers came and removed the ‘Vote No’ posters pasted on trees and walls on street corners in our town. They also collected pamphlets scattered on the streets,” Thang Cing Lian, the Chairman of the National League for Democracy in Tedim town said.
On May 7, two NLD members from Hakha called Daw Tial Chin and Ngun Zam were arrested for distributing ‘Vote No’ pamphlets in Hakha town but were released after questioning for four hours in the Hakha police station.
The Burmese regime has announced that multi-party elections will be held in 2010 after the constitution is approved in the referendum.
Yet, critics have said the new charter is designed to perpetuate the role of the military in Burma’s future politics and ban Aung San Suu Kyi from contesting the elections and hold the post of president because her husband was British. – Khonumthung.