Election 2020

Five Muslim Candidates Rejected From Myanmar’s Election

By Htun Htun 18 August 2020

Yangon—Five Muslim candidates, including four Rohingyas, in Rakhine State have been rejected by the state election sub-commission to run in the November general election due to the citizenship status of their parents.

Four Rohinyga candidates are from the Democracy and Human Rights Party (DHRP) and the fifth is an independent looking to run for a Buthidaung Township Lower House seat.

“They were rejected mainly because their parents and grandparents were not yet citizens when they were born,” said sub-commission secretary U Thurein Htut.

The DHRP fielded seven candidates, and as four have been rejected, only three will be left to run in the election, according to party general secretary U Kyaw Soe Aung.

“They were approved as candidates in previous elections and were allowed to cast votes and stand for election in 2015. I can’t understand why they are disqualified now due to citizenship status. This has raised a question about the citizenship law,” said U Kyaw Soe Aung.

“There was discrimination by the U Thein Sein government before 2015, and we feel sorry that the democratic government is also discriminating. We have serious doubts about the [National League for Democracy’s will] to support democracy,” he added.

The DHRP will appeal to the sub-commission, U Kyaw Soe Aung said.

The four rejected candidates have registered to run for Lower House seats representing Sittwe and Buthidaung and two Rakhine State seats in Buthidaung.

Three others who qualified have registered to run for Lower House seat in Maungdaw, and two seats in the Yangon regional parliament for Thaketa and South Dagon townships.

When the party proposed 18 candidates in 2015, 15 were rejected and only three qualified.

According to Section 10(e) of the Election Law, both of a candidate’s parents must have been citizens when they were born.

The DHRP was originally founded as the National Democratic Party for Human Rights and ran for eight seats in the 1990 general election, winning four of them.

The party was abolished in 1991 and registered again as the DHRP in March 2013. The party has around 10,000 members.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.

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