2 More Opposition Candidates Disqualified by Election Commission

By San Yamin Aung 26 August 2015

RANGOON—Two candidates for the National League for Democracy (NLD) have been disqualified from contesting the Nov. 8 election, one of whom has become the third candidate barred from the poll on citizenship grounds.

Yin Myo, an NLD candidate for the Upper House of the Union Parliament from Shan State, was informed by a district office of the Union Election Commission (UEC) on Monday that his candidacy would be rejectedbecause hisfather was not a Burmese citizen at the time of his birth.

“His father was a foreign registration card holder,” said San Aung, chair of the commission’s Palaung Special Region’s office. “We explained this to him when we scrutinized his application and he withdrew his candidacy of his own accord.”

San Aung added that Yin Myo was the only nominee rejected among 18 candidate applications submitted to the local UEC office.

Earlier this week, the UEC disqualified Dr. Win Myint, a NLD candidate in Mandalay, on the grounds that his father was a Chinese national living in Burma. The independent candidacy of ShweMaung, an ethnic Rohingya Muslim lawmaker and former member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), was rejected on similar grounds, despite serving in the Union Parliament since 2010. Both men have appealedtheir rejections to the UEC head office.

In Karenni State, NLD Upper House candidate PhyoWai Aung was disqualified for failing to meet a constitutional provision requiring Union Parliament lawmakers to be above the age of 30.

An official from the NLD’s Karenni State office, who asked not to be named, said that PhyoWai Aung had been the only party member disqualified from competing in that state.

“We didn’t notice when we chose the candidates, but he is still several months away from turning 30, so his application was denied,” he said.

The UEC is currently examining the eligibility of a total of 6,189 candidate applications submitted by 92 political parties and 323 independents, a process that is expected to conclude on Aug. 31.

The NLD has submitted the highest number of applications to the commissionclosely, fielding 1,151 candidates in the country’s 1,171 seats, closely followed by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and the National Unity Party.