Considered a Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) stronghold, Magwe Division is part of the majority ethnic Bamar heartland. The ruling party’s grip on the region will be put to the test in November, however, with the NLD twice in recent years demonstrating it can make a claim to formidable support of its own: The party won six of the six seats in Magwe Division that it contested in the 2012 by-election, and in February 2015, NLD chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted by thousands of jubilant supporters when she traveled to Magwe Division’s Nat Mauk Township to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of her father, independence hero Aung San.
Ethnic political parties are expected to gain little, if any, traction in the division.
Magwe Division returns 25 lawmakers to the Union Parliament’s Lower House and 12 to the Upper House. The regional legislature is made up of 51 elected parliamentarians, including one ethnic affairs representative, and 17 military MPs.
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