NLD Amends Candidate List, Prominent Figures Still Excluded

By Kyaw Phyo Tha 10 August 2015

RANGOON — Burma’s main opposition party has made over two dozen amendments to its candidate list for the upcoming general election, but prominent figures rejected by the party remained off the roster.

Twenty-nine candidates originally selected to stand for the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the November 8 poll have been replaced, according to party spokesperson Nyan Win. A candidate has also been added to the list to run for a seat in the Upper House, bringing the total number of amendments or additions in the past week to 30.

“We still have around 20 more [amendments] to come. We have made replacements as there are resignations and errors in the list. Most of them are caused by resignations,” Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy, without elaborating on the circumstances of those who resigned.

Any changes that may yet transpire in Arakan, Mon and Karen states are not yet included in the amended list that was published in D-Wave, the NLD’s weekly newsletter, on Monday.

The NLD’s original 1,090-name candidate list made public on August 1 attracted immediate controversy with well-known figures such as pro-democracy activist Ko Ko Gyi and Rangoon Division lawmaker Nyo Nyo Thin notable absentees.

Public discontent has been matched by disaffection within the party’s membership, with resignations and public criticism over the selection process conducted by the NLD’s central executive committee.

On Friday, more than 300 people, including NLD members, staged a protest in Magwe Division’s Pakokku against the party’s selection of four local candidates demonstrators said were not supported by the local NLD township committee.

The amended list contains no new candidates for the upcountry town in Magwe Division.

NLD chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi urged voters to overlook the controversy during visits to flood-hit Pegu and Magwe divisions in recent days.

“Don’t worry about who the candidates are. I want to ask you to just cast a ballot for the party,” she said in Taungoo, Pegu Division, on Friday.