NLD Candidate Declared Winner in Disputed Yangon Region By-Election

By Chit Min Tun 31 May 2019

YANGON—The Union Election Commission (UEC) has ruled in favor of a National League for Democracy (NLD) candidate over his Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) rival in last year’s disputed Yangon Regional Parliament by-election in Seikkan Township Constituency.

USDP candidate U Nay Myo Aung was initially declared the winner of the Nov. 3 by-election with 515 votes over NLD candidate U Than Htike Aung’s 356.

However, U Than Htike Aung filed a complaint with the UEC accusing U Nay Myo Aung of violating electoral laws. After five months of investigation, the UEC handed down a ruling in favor of the NLD.

“The commission formed a tribunal, heard from both sides and made a ruling this morning,” U Than Htike Aung told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

The NLD candidate complained that the USDP office in Seikkan Township is built on state-owned land, and that the USDP’s Seikkan chapter lent money to local residents ahead of the by-election, while failing to submit the campaign expenditures to the UEC. He also accused the USDP candidate of campaigning on religious grounds.

The USDP grew out of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, which was founded by the military regime, known as the State Peace and Development Council, in 2003 as a mass organization to rally public support. When the association transformed itself into a political party ahead of the 2010 general election, it handed over its assets to the party, including office buildings built on state-owned lands.

“I have nothing to say. The ruling was made by the tribunal assigned by the UEC, which all the parties have to respect. So, I have no objection,” U Nay Myo Aung told The Irrawaddy.

The Irrawaddy was unable to obtain a comment from UEC spokesperson U Myint Naing.

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