NLD Dominates Yangon Municipal Election; USDP Routed

By THA ZIN HLAING 2 April 2019

YANGON — Candidates for the National League for Democracy (NLD) dominated Sunday’s Yangon municipal election, winning 89 of the 105 seats up for grabs.

The NLD won 51 township-level municipal committee seats, 32 township committee chairmanships and all six open seats on the executive board of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), from among whom a deputy mayor will be elected.

Of the 105 seats filled on Sunday, 26 — nearly a quarter — went to female candidates.

The Yangon Municipal Election Commission announced the results over the course of Sunday and Monday.

A total 273 candidates contested the seats, of whom 160 were independents, 90 were with the NLD, and 23 were with the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

The independents grabbed all 16 seats the NLD did not, leaving the USDP without a single win.

U Soe Win Oo, deputy chairman of the NLD’s Yangon chapter, said the results clearly reflected the people’s will.

“The party with the most public support won the election,” he said.

“Our people know clearly what to do. If the USDP does not win, it means the people don’t like them,” he added.

More than 3 million people were eligible for vote on Sunday. But the People’s Alliance for Credible Elections (PACE), an independent election monitor, said turnout was under 10 percent.

PACE and others also reported that at some polling stations people whose names were not on the voter rolls were not allowed to cast ballots in some places but did in others.

Lower House lawmaker U Bo Bo Oo told The Irrawaddy that more than 100 people were not able to cast ballots in San Chaung Township alone and that he had informed the YCDC.

On Monday, the election commission said it did not count any of the approximately 40 ballots cast at two of San Chaung’s 52 polling stations were some people reportedly voted even though their names were not on the voter rolls. Commission Chairman U Aung Khine said those ballots were all invalidated.

He said the commission would investigate and take action against anyone found to have broken the rules.