Shan State MP passes away, leav­ing seat to be filled dur­ing April by-elec­tion

The Myanmar Times - - News - SHOON NAING shoonnaing@mm­times.com

ONE more seat has be­come avail­able in the 2017 by-elec­tion, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of va­cant po­si­tions to 19, ac­cord­ing to the Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

Na­tional League for Democ­racy law­maker U Tin Yin, rep­re­sent­ing Shan State’s Nyaung Shwe con­stituency 1 for the state hlut­taw, died of health com­pli­ca­tions on Oc­to­ber 12.

The 65-year-old MP was suf­fer­ing from an ill­ness af­fect­ing his lungs, ac­cord­ing to his daugh­ter Ma Yin Yin Mon.

“He was un­healthy and his di­a­betes got worse as he strug­gled with a lung prob­lem,” she told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day.

The Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion con­firmed in a state­ment that the va­cancy had been added to the other 18 po­si­tions to be filled in the April 2017 vote fol­low­ing a meet­ing with 70 po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the cap­i­tal.

Shan State will see the most seats voted on, with now eight spots avail­able in to­tal. The NLD has con­firmed its in­ten­tion to put for­ward can­di­dates in all of the races. But af­ter the now rul­ing party won in a wa­ter­shed last Novem­ber, net­ting nearly 80 per­cent of electable seats in the Union par­lia­ment and se­cur­ing ma­jori­ties in 12 of 14 state and re­gional hlut­taws, other par­ties are hop­ing for a chance to gain ground.

The Union Sol­i­dar­ity and Devel­op­ment Party has also con­firmed it will vie for ev­ery avail­able seat.

Can­di­dates hop­ing to con­test one of the races must reg­is­ter with the UEC be­tween Novem­ber 28 and De­cem­ber 7. The UEC will re­lease fi­nal can­di­date lists on Jan­uary 2 and the cam­paign pe­riod will run two months, from the end of Jan­uary un­til the end of March.

Last year, the UEC was judged widely by in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal elec­tion mon­i­tors for sev­eral bumps along the road to the polls, in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous mis­takes in the voter lists. In or­der to avoid any glitches in the up­com­ing by-elec­tion, the UEC has pledged to get an early start on prepa­ra­tion ac­tiv­i­ties.

Door-to-door ed­u­ca­tion drives will be launched in the 19 con­stituen­cies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the by-elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to U Kaung Myat Hein, deputy di­rec­tor of the UEC. The house­hold vis­its will be used to also start the voter list scru­tiny pro­cess, he added.

“We will start the door-to-door scru­tiny on Novem­ber 1 and we will make corrections to the voter lists used in the pre­vi­ous elec­tion,” he told The Myan­mar Times.

A new sur­veil­lance com­mit­tee will be formed to mon­i­tor po­lit­i­cal par­ties and to en­sure can­di­dates abide by elec­tion ethics, ac­cord­ing to the UEC’s state­ment.

The UEC has in­vited in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal poll ob­servers to re­turn to make sure the by-elec­tion vote is held freely and fairly.

In to­tal, nine seats are avail­able in the Pyithu Hlut­taw, three seats in the Amyotha Hlut­taw, and seven seats in the state and re­gion leg­is­la­tures. Those con­stituen­cies are cur­rently lack­ing leg­isla­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

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