Considered majority-Buddhist Burma’s “cultural heart,” Mandalay Division is the most populace region in Upper Burma. Its politics revolve around a mix of urban and rural constituents’ concerns, with a sizeable proportion of its population concentrated in the city of Mandalay and surrounding area, but the majority of its townships situated in outlying rural parts of Upper Burma.
Anti-Muslim violence has twice flared in the division, once in Meikhtila in March 2013 and again in July of last year in the city of Mandalay. Anti-Chinese sentiment is also common, with widespread perceptions that an influx of Chinese nationals over the last two decades and the city’s Sino-Burmese population have disproportionally benefitted from economic opportunities. Both strains of prejudice could make their way into the rhetoric of candidates shopping for the Buddhist nationalist vote in November.
Mandalay Division returns 30 lawmakers to the Union Parliament’s Lower House and 10 to the Upper House. The regional legislature is made up of 57 elected parliamentarians, including one ethnic affairs representative, and 19 appointed military MPs.
- Maha Aung Myay
- Pyin Oo Lwin
- Taung Tha
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