NAYPYITAW—An election campaign sign for the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in Mandalay’s Myingyan Township was vandalized on Sunday.
Portraits of the party’s chairman, U Than Htay, and Dr. Than Win, a USDP candidate for a seat in the Lower House of Myanmar’s Parliament in next month’s by-election, were ripped out of the sign.
“My picture was just torn, but U Than Htay’s picture was also blackened [with ink]. I think I know who did this. But I won’t file a complaint, nor let the party file a complaint,” Dr. Than Win said.
The candidate said he was still confident of winning the by-election despite this very public show of dislike for him.
The seat in the Lower House representing Myingyan Township was left vacant upon the death of National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker U Paw Khin in March.
The USDP described the destruction of an election poster as a disgraceful act that undermines democracy.
“Democracy is about competing fairly with dignity. So, we strongly condemn those who did this,” USDP spokesperson U Thein Tun Oo told The Irrawaddy.
The USDP, NLD, Public of Labour Party and Democratic Party for a New Society will contest the Lower House seat representing Myingyan Township in the Nov. 3 by-election.
Across the country, a total of 13 legislative seats—four in the Lower House, one in the Upper House and eight regional parliament seats—will be up for grabs on Nov. 3, according to the Election Commission.
The NLD will contest all 13 vacant seats, while the USDP will only field candidates in constituencies outside ethnic regions.
The four vacant Lower House seats are in Chin State’s Kanpetlet Township, Shan State’s Laihka Township, Mandalay’s Myingyan Township and Yangon’s Tamwe Township. The vacant seat in the Upper House is in Kachin State’s Constituency 2. The vacant regional parliament seats are in Chin State’s Matupi Township, Sagaing’s Tamu Township, Bago’s Oktwin Township, Rakhine State’s Rathedaung Township, Magwe’s Minbu Township, Yangon’s Seikkan Township, Mandalay’s Thabeikkyin Township and the ethnic Shan constituency for Mandalay’s Regional Parliament.