Election 2020

Nearly 7,000 Candidates Approved to Run in Myanmar’s November Election

By San Yamin Aung 1 September 2020

YANGON—Myanmar’s election commission announced Sunday that a total of 6,969 people have been approved to run in the November general election.

Meanwhile, dozens of potential candidates were rejected due to issues ranging from citizenship to the fabrication of data.

One candidate was rejected for allegedly having connections with a terrorist organization, though he rejects that allegation.

The approved candidates will vie for a total of 1,171 parliamentary seats that are up for grabs in the Union Parliament as well as state and regional legislatures on Nov. 8.

According to data compiled by The Irrawaddy, 7,026 people applied as candidates with state and regional election sub-commissions. Twenty-six of those withdrew their applications later, and another 31 were rejected after their eligibility was reviewed by their respective sub-commissions.

Most of the rejections are for violations of the election law’s Article 8, which requires that candidates must be born of parents who are Myanmar citizens and must have resided in Myanmar for at least 10 consecutive years leading up to the election.

Other disqualifying factors include fabricating personal data in an application or seeking to run as a candidate for one party before resigning from another.

Current Rakhine State lawmaker U Pho San, who hoped to seek reelection as an Arakan National Party candidate in Kyaukphyu Township, saw his application rejected due to alleged ties to the Arakan Army (AA).

He has a son who left his position as a major in the Myanmar military to join the AA, which has been declared a terrorist organization and is engaged in intense fighting against government troops.

U Pho San has rejected the allegation, and Rakhine election sub-commission secretary U Thurein Htut told The Irrawaddy that the candidacy was initially approved.

However, it was later denied following objections by the Home Affairs Ministry.

Shan State will have the highest number of candidates in November, with 1,018 approved to contest for the state’s constituencies. Yangon Region will select from 950 candidates and Sagaing Region from 685 candidates.

The numbers of approved candidates in other states and regions are as follows: 542 in Ayeyarwady; 541 in Mandalay; 531 in Bago; 480 in Kachin; 480 in Magwe; 380 in Rakhine; 302 in Mon; 272 in Kayah; 269 in Tanintharyi; 233 in Karen; 210 in Chin; and 76 in Naypyitaw.

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