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Commission rejects nearly 50 candidates

By Ye Mon
September 1, 2015

State and region election sub-commissions have rejected almost 50 candidates from contesting the November 8 election, officials told The Myanmar Times yesterday.

Out of the running: Candidates disqualified by the UEC. Figures correct as of August 31.

Rakhine State had the highest number rejected with 19 (see related story, "Election commission rejects Muslim candidates en masse"), followed by Bago and Yangon regions and Shan State. A total of 49 candidates were blocked from running across eight states and regions, although some have announced plans to appeal.

The National League for Democracy has so far lost six candidates, while the Union Solidarity and Development Party has not had any rejected.

Officials from some sub-commissions said the number could possibly rise further, although most scrutiny of candidates has been completed. More than 6000 candidates registered to contest the election by the August 14 deadline.

Candidates were rejected for a range of reasons. But the requirement that both parents be citizens at the time of a candidate’s birth topped the list, particularly in Rakhine State.

Nine candidates from the Democracy and Human Rights Party, six candidates from the National Development and Peace Party, and three independents were all blocked on citizenship grounds “in accordance with the election laws”, an officer said yesterday. All of the candidates are Muslim.

One NLD candidate was also rejected on the grounds he had not lived in the country for 10 years continuously.

The second-highest number of axed candidates was in Bago Region, where the commission rejected eight for not living in the country for 10 years continuously or for being members of more than one party.

U Nay Zin Latt, head of the National Development Party, said yesterday one of his party’s candidates in Bago Region had been blocked because he was still a member of another party.

In Kachin State, meanwhile, two NLD candidates – U Zaw Tan, running for a state hluttaw seat in Tanai, and U Naung Nar Jartan, who registered for Amyotha Hluttaw constituency 4 – were knocked back because of alleged links to an armed ethnic group.

“They have appealed to the state commission. We haven’t decided on their appeal yet,” said election officer U Tun Aung Khine. “We don’t look at the party name; we just look at the candidate.”

NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win confirmed that the pair had been rejected for relations with an armed ethnic group and were waiting the outcome of an appeal.

“The candidates didn’t send a report to the party’s central executive committee so I can’t give any further details,” he said. “But altogether six of our candidates have been rejected.”

In Kayah State, a sub-commission official, U Kyaw Sann Win, said two candidates had been rejected. An NLD candidate for the Amyotha Hluttaw was below the age threshold of 30, while a Kayan National Party representative for the Amyotha Hluttaw was also blocked.

“KNP candidate U Risi Nyein was rejected because he didn’t live for 10 years in the country continuously. He was living in Thailand illegally so he is not eligible,” U Kyaw Sann Win said.

A further five candidates were rejected for the Shan State, including U Yin Myo of the NLD and a Shan Nationalities Democratic Party candidate, who were both blocked on citizenship grounds.

In Yangon Region, at least six candidates have been rejected, but commission officials said the number could rise further.

Among those blocked was a Yangon Region Hluttaw representative for Thingangyun, Daw Sann Sann Myint. She was rejected on citizenship grounds, despite having been cleared to contest the seat in 2010. U Thein Nyunt, head of the New National Democracy Party, said the decision was “unfair”.

“She contested the 2010 election, the commission approved her to run then and her parents are both Myanmar citizens. Now the commission has rejected her,” he said.

In Mandalay Region, four candidates were rejected, included two NLD members. One Federal Union Party member was rejected for citizenship reasons and an independent was rejected for not living 10 years in the country continuously.

U Kyaw Kyaw Soe, an officer from the regional commission, said the NLD candidate for the Shan ethnic affairs minister post was rejected because he is Bamar rather than Shan.

A member of the Sagaing Region election sub-commission confirmed one region hluttaw candidate had been rejected, but declined to give the name, party or constituency of the candidate.

No candidates were rejected in Kayin, Mon and Chin states, Ayeyarwady, Tanintharyi and Magwe regions, and Nay Pyi Taw, according to election commission officials.

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