NLD sets Novem­ber 25 dead­line for by-elec­tion can­di­date sub­mis­sions

The Myanmar Times - - News - THU THU AUNG thuthuaung@mm­

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

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