YANGON — Myanmar’s President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) are among those who will run in November’s general election.
The NLD took office in 2016 after beating the then-ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, which mostly consists of former army officers, in the 2015 electoral landslide.
In the previous election, U Win Myint was elected for the Lower House in Yangon’s Tamwe Township and is planning to recontest the seat in November, according to U Thein Myint, an NLD lawmaker in the township. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will also contest her Lower House Kawhmu Township seat, which she won in 2015, according to U Kyaw Htwe, an NLD Upper House lawmaker who represents the township.
Besides the two leaders, ethnic Chin Vice President U Henry Van Thio and almost all of state and regional chief ministers also applied for candidacy with the NLD to recontest their seats, party members told The Irrawaddy.
It is uncertain if Mandalay Region chief minister and NLD vice-chairman Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, who is receiving cancer treatment, will run again due to his health condition. But The Irrawaddy has learned that the township candidate selection committee has put his name on the nominees’ list that is being forwarded to the party’s regional committee to proceed for candidate selection.
In a recent interview with The Irrawaddy, Dr. Zaw Myint Maung said he will remain in politics as long as he is healthy enough to contest the election if he is assigned the candidacy by the party leadership.
Despite recent news that Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein will not run due to poor health, he was selected as the first choice by the NLD in Hlegu Township on Yangon’s outskirts to run in the election, according to an NLD lawmaker Daw Myat Malar Tun from the township. U Phyo Min Thein won the township seat in 2015.
The NLD accepted candidacy applications from party members early this month. Executive committees for each township party chapter, together with community elders, made first and second choice among the applications for a place. The list of nominees was then sent to the regional and state chapters, then to the central selection committee and finally to the central executive committee (CEC). The CEC will make the final decision.
According to Chin State members, U Henry Van Thio also applied to contest his native town of Htantalan. The 62-year-old joined the NLD in 2015 and contested the election that year. He won an Upper House seat and was then appointed as one of the two vice presidents in March 2016. The other vice president is appointed by the military.
Nearly 100 political parties will contest the 2020 general election. The military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party has told the media that the party’s chairman, U Than Htay, and its other leaders will run in the election.
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