NLD Dismisses Regional Heads for By-election Blunder  

By San Yamin Aung 3 April 2017

RANGOON — The National League for Democracy (NLD) party has stripped the heads of Karenni State and Hpruso Township of their positions for failing to field a candidate in time, forcing the party out of the race for a regional seat in Saturday’s by-elections.

U Thae Reh of the All Nationals’ Democracy Party (Kayah State) won the seat in Karenni State’s Hpruso Township on Saturday, defeating opponents from the Union Solidarity and Development Party and the National Progressive Party.

The NLD’s nominee, however, did not take part in the election because he failed to register his candidacy with the district election sub-commission between Nov. 28 and Dec. 7 last year.

The party’s central executive committee (CEC) decided to reprimand the party’s chairpersons in Karenni State and Hpruso Township—Dr. Khin Sithu and U Pe’D—but mulled over what disciplinary measure to take until Sunday.

NLD secretary U Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the committee demoted the pair because they were responsible for ensuring that their party’s candidate was registered. He added that they would remain party members.

Dr. Khin Sithu, who is also a Lower House lawmaker, said she learned of the announcement on Monday afternoon.

“If the decision was made because they don’t trust me and think that I did it intentionally, then I feel sad,” she said.

As she was serving in Parliament when the candidate’s registration was due, she forwarded the documents to the Hpruso Township chairman to catalog, she explained.

“Whether it was my duty to personally register the candidate is hard to say,” she added.

U Pe’D was not available for contact at the time of publication.