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