Current Rohingya MP Shwe Maung's Constituency Candidate Application Rejected
August 23, 2015
Yangon, Myanmar – The constituency candidate application of U Shwe Maung, current Member of Parliament at lower house, was rejected by the Maungdaw district Election Commission on August 22, 2015 where his application was submitted.
U Shwe Maung was elected in 2010 and he represented the current ruling party, Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Since USDP party had decided not to take any Muslim candidate and no Rohingya Muslim MPs were nominated for the upcoming 2015 election, U Shwe Maung resigned from USDP party and submitted his application as an unaffiliated individual at Maungdaw district Election Commission.
U Shwe Maung, a Mechanical Engineer, graduated from Yangon Institute of Technology in 1995. According to Myanmar law, only full citizens can study at professional institutions including Yangon Institute of Technology. According to Institute's procedures his family background was scrutinized during his studies, and he was able to continue his studies as his parents and forefathers were native to Myanmar. He was very fortunate at that time as he could join professional institution but since his graduation, no Rohingya are allowed to join even if the student meets the requirements.
U Shwe Maung’s father, U Abdul Hadi was a prominent police officer. U Abdul Hadi born in 1918 and he served the country as police officer until he retired in 1978. U Shwe Maung’s parents received National Registration Card (NRC) in 1957 when the NRCs were introduced in the country. In Myanmar, there were no any identity cards before this issuing by the NRC. NRC cards had six digits, issued for citizens and Foreigner Registration Cards (FRC) had five digits. All Rohingyas were NRC card holders till Temporary Registration Card (White Card) issued in late 1994.
Although U Shwe Maung is an MP until January 2016, the Maungdaw district Election Commission sent him a letter that his application was rejected based on the ground of his parents’ citizenship. In the letter, the Election Commission stated his parent were not citizens when he was born. Additionally, U Shwe Maung’s candidate application was protested by a Rakhine candidate named U Aung Thaung Shwe who represents for Arakan National Party (ANP) led by Dr Aye Maung.
The rejection of U Shwe Maung's candidate application is completely baseless but the law will not favor Rohingya. However, U Shwe Maung wrote on his Facebook that he will appeal at Rakhine State Election Commission.
In the upcoming election on November 8, 2015, Rohingyas in Rakhine State will not have right to vote as the law barred them from voting even though they had this right since the time British-Burma and up until the last election in 2010. According to the law, NRC card holders can vote but even though there are a few thousands NRC card holders in Rakhine State, the local township election commission didn’t produce them in the voters list.
As of now, U Shwe Maung’s application was rejected and a local media claimed that Daw Khin Khin Lwin, a Rohingya woman’s application was also rejected but RB News could not confirm this independently.
Some other Rohingyas have also submitted the candidate applications for the constituencies in Maungdaw district but the result will have to be observed till August 31, 2015.
The letter from Maungdaw District Election Commission:
U Shwe Maung's degree certificate: