UEC announces April 2017 by-election date
THE Union Election Commission announced the date for parliamentary by-elections yesterday, with voters in 21 constituencies set to head to the polls on April 1, 2017.
Nine seats in the Pyithu Hluttaw, three seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw and six seats in Myanmar’s state and regional legislatures will be up for grabs next year, with those constituencies currently lacking legislative representation.
Earlier this year the National League for Democracy, which won November’s general election in a landslide, passed a bill prohibiting by-elections in the first and last years of the government’s term in office. The move put limits on a bill passed under the previous government that had required that polling officials organise a by-election within six months of a seat becoming vacant.
The NLD formally returned to the political arena during Myanmar’s last by-election, in 2012, winning all but one of the seats it contested. That electoral exercise put in play about twice as many seats as will be up for a vote next year.
The party of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – who was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2015 but now serves as state counsellor – boycotted the 2010 general election.