- Mayangon Township, Rangoon
- #56 | June 12, 2012
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- Contested Seats
- 14 Upper, 48 Lower, 92 Regional
The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy claims to have more than 40,000 members and has established 82 branch offices across Shan State, and in some Mandalay Division and Karenni State locations, with plans to open additional branches in Kachin State. Among more than 140 candidates that the party is fielding this year, two are seeking the Shan ethnic affairs minister posts in Kachin State and Mandalay Division.
Established in 1988, the SNLD won the largest number of seats after the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma’s 1990 election, the results of which were ignored by the former military regime. Much of the party’s leadership has spent time in jail after its decision not to rejoin a National Convention called to draft the country’s 2008 Constitution.
This year the party goes head to head with the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), as well as Burma’s two main parties—the NLD and ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party—and several others fighting for seats in hardscrabble Shan State and beyond. The SNDP was formed to contest Burma’s 2010 general election, which the SNLD boycotted.
Burma’s two main Shan parties discussed a merger last year, with the SNLD secretary telling The Irrawaddy that “the Shan people want us to work together.” An agreement, apparently, could not be reached, meaning the two parties will likely split a fair share of the ballots from ethnic Shan voters on Nov. 8.
The SNLD says it will strive for the establishment of a democratic federal union, and focus its efforts on amending the Constitution and rolling back unjust laws and regulations. It will prioritize ensuring free basic health care and education for all, with the latter based on mother-tongue instruction.
* States and divisions in red indicate that the party is fielding candidates at the Union or regional level in that jurisdiction. In addition to the 156 seats the party is contesting in state and divisional legislatures, it is fielding candidates for two ethnic affairs minister posts to serve in regional governments' cabinets.
Khun Htun Oo
The SNLD chairman will not seek election in November.
Sai Saw Aung
The party's vice chairman will also abstain from the 2015 race.