UEC an­nounces April 2017 by-elec­tion date

The Myanmar Times - - News - AN­DREW D KAS­PAR a.kas­par@mm­times.com

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.

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