Election 2020

NLD Set to Sweep Capital Except for Military-Dominated Zeyarthiri Township

By Htet Naing Zaw 9 November 2020

NAYPYITAW—The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) is poised to win all of the parliamentary seats in Naypyitaw except the Lower House seat in Zeyarthiri Township, home to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services, unofficial results show.

Being home to most of the military units in the capital, Zeyarthiri Township is a stronghold of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is widely viewed as the military’s proxy. The party won there in both 2010 and 2015, and it appears that USDP chairman U Than Htay has emerged as the winner there this time.

There are some 80,000 eligible voters in Zeyarthiri Township. U Than Htay secured 36,000 votes and his NLD rival, retired government official Dr. Moe Swe, secured around 30,000 votes, according to election monitors.

There are 10 seats up for grabs in the Naypyitaw Union Territory—eight in the Lower House and two in the Upper House. The NLD is leading other parties in all constituencies except for the Lower House seat in Zeyarthiri.

USDP spokeswoman in Naypyitaw Daw Yin Min Myint Swe said: “Roughly speaking, we are only likely to win in Zeyarthiri Township. There will be a clear result in the afternoon.”

A member of the NLD campaign committee in Naypyitaw, U Min Thu, told The Irrawaddy: “With the exception of Zeyarthiri, the NLD is leading in all the other constituencies by a huge margin.”

The party secured the most votes at all but one of the 20 polling stations in Dekkhinathiri Township, he said, adding that it is likely to win more votes than it garnered in the 2015 poll.

Former Lieutenant General U Myint Hlaing of the USDP and current NLD Lower House lawmaker U Than Zin Htun are contesting in Dekkhinathiri Township, which has some 30,000 eligible voters. The NLD reportedly won over 14,000 votes with the USDP taking some 9,000 votes.

In Zabuthiri Township, where U Wunna Maung Lwin of the USDP, a former foreign affairs minister, contested, the NLD is winning at 75 percent of polling stations, according to U Min Thu.

“The NLD won decisively in Pobbathiri Township by a margin of over 10,000 votes. The margin is even bigger in Pyinmana, Tatkon and Lewei. In Pyinmana, the party won more than 50,000 votes from 100,000 eligible voters. In Tatkon, the margin was over 30,000,” said U Min Thu.

NLD candidate U Yi Mon said on his Facebook page that he had secured 43,101 votes—10,159 more than his rival, and that he had even signed a form with the electoral body recognizing the voting results.

A total of 66 candidates—11 from political parties and eight independents—contested in Naypyitaw.

The Union Territory is divided into eight townships—Zabuthiri, Dekkhinathiri, Zeyarthiri, Pobbathiri, Ottarathiri, Tatkon, Pyinmana and Lewei. Nearly 700 polling stations were set up to cater to Naypyitaw’s more than 900,000 eligible voters.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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