RANGOON — The paltry electoral haul of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) got a little bit paltrier this week, with reversal of a race previously called in favor of the ruling party, which was instead awarded to the Ta’ang National Party.
Shan State No. 5 in the Union Parliament’s Upper House was called on Nov. 12 for Sai Hsar Lu, a USDP candidate for the constituency encompassing the townships of Kutkai, Muse and Namkham, but on Monday the state’s election subcommission announced that Nyi Sein of the Ta’ang National Party had bested the ruling party’s parliamentary hopeful by 199 votes.
U Pwint, the Shan State election subcommission chairman, told The Irrawaddy that the vote tally swung in favor of the ethnic Palaung (Ta’ang) party after ballots from six polling stations in Namkham Township were added to the total. U Pwint declined to comment on why the ballots went unaccounted for in the tabulations that led to the erroneous Nov. 12 declaration.
Despite loss of the seat, Shan State was one of the brighter spots on the map for the USDP in a Nov. 8 general election that otherwise saw the National League for Democracy (NLD) claim large majorities in most of the country, with Arakan and Shan states the two exceptions. In Shan State, the USDP won two seats in the Upper House, 15 seats in the Lower House and 33 contests in the regional legislature.
Nationwide, the USDP won 11 seats in the Upper chamber, 30 seats in the Lower and 76 contests in regional legislatures, including two ethnic affairs minister posts.
The NLD won a total 886 out of 1,150 seats in play on Nov. 8, boasting majorities of about 80 percent in both the Upper and Lower houses of the Union Parliament.
The TNP won two seats in the Upper House—Shan State Nos. 5 and 10—as well as three seats in the Lower House and seven in the regional legislature.
A full tally of Union Parliament races can be found here.