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CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Candidates Urged to Clear Out as Close of Campaign Season Nears

Burma’s Union Election Commission announces that parliamentary candidates must clear out all campaign materials by Friday at midnight as the official canvassing period closes.


RANGOON — Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) announced on Sunday that parliamentary candidates must clear out all campaign materials by Friday at midnight, as the official canvassing period closes two days before a Nov. 8 vote.

A statement posted on the commission’s website said candidates must remove all campaign materials before the 30-hour blackout period, “to give voters time to think peacefully about which candidates they want to choose.”

The UEC said that township sub-commissions and municipal committees would be available to assist in the removal of posters and other advertisements at the expense of the candidates.

Article 61 of the Union Election Law stipulates that campaigning or attempting to influence voters within 500 yards of a polling station they are liable to one year in prison, a fine of up to 100,000 kyats (US$78), or both.

In a video message released on Friday, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, chairwoman of the National League for Democracy (NLD), urged her supporters to refrain from wearing the party logo on election day.

“Don’t wear or bring the party’s logo and symbolic accessories like hats, flags, party labels and headbands—it can only damage the party. So be aware of this and go [to the polling station] with normal clothes,” Suu Kyi said.

Supporters have also been advised to remove party symbols from vehicles, trishaws and bicycles before Nov. 7.  NLD spokeswoman Nan Khin Htwe Myint said the party will begin working on removal on Wednesday, and will advocate for the early dismemberment of campaign structures.