NLD sets November 25 deadline for by-election candidate submissions
THE National League for Democracy has announced a November 25 deadline for party chapters across the country’s states and regions to submit by-election candidate lists to the NLD’s central office.
The April 1, 2017, by-election will put 19 currently vacant parliamentary seats in play, and the NLD has said it intends to contest all of them.
Senior NLD figure U Win Htein confirmed the November 25 deadline for local party leaders to forward their candidate suggestions to the NLD headquarters in Yangon.
He added that the party would be evaluating prospective candidates using the same criteria on discipline and qualifications that applied for election hopefuls in last year’s general election.
The Union Election Committee announced the by-election date on October 11.
Nine seats in the Pyithu Hluttaw, three seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw, and seven seats in state and region legislatures will be up for a vote. Thirteen of those seats were vacated by their 2015 election winners due to deaths, appointments to posts in government or other reasons.
Six constituencies will get representatives that they have not had since lawmakers took their seats earlier this year, due to cancellation of the 2015 vote in two townships in Shan State, Kyethi and Mine Shu/Mong Shu. At the time, the UEC cited local instability in explaining its reason for nixing the poll.
U Aung Than Win, who had been selected to represent the NLD for Kyethi township’s Pyithu Hluttaw seat in last year’s election before the UEC announced that no vote would take place, said he did not know whether he would get the nod again this year to contest the by-election.
“I have to wait for the CEC [central executive committee] members’ decision. They will take care of us and will make a decision for us,” he told Myanmar Times.
Mong Shu township politician Sai Tun Tun Oo, who was tipped to be the NLD’s standard-bearer in that Pyithu Hluttaw constituency last year, said he was willing and able to run for the seat in 2017.
In the lead-up to the November 2015 vote, the NLD faced criticism after it was revealed that its candidate roster included no Muslims and excluded several prominent pro-democracy figures including U Ko Ko Gyi and Daw Nyo Nyo Thin.
NLD central executive committee member U Tun Tun Hein told the media in August 2015 that candidates had been selected primarily on the basis of their electoral potential and loyalty to the party.
U Win Htein acknowledged that similar controversy could arise again this year.
“Whatever happens, we have to solve them if there are problems,” he said. The