USDP By-Election Candidate Dies of Heart Attack

By San Yamin Aung 6 February 2017

RANGOON — A 51-year-old Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) candidate in Shan State passed away on Friday after suffering a heart attack.

Sai San Nyunt was contesting a regional seat in Mong Hsu Township in the April 1 by-election, but died at around 6:15 p.m. at his home on Friday.

Sai Htoo Lin Kyaw, a secretary of the election sub-commission in Mong Hsu Township, told The Irrawaddy that U Sai San Nyunt was preparing to campaign in the constituency starting from Tuesday.

“It’s too late to replace the candidate in the election,” Sai Htoo Lin Kyaw said.

The Union Election Commission (UEC) has already announced the final 95 candidates—88 from 24 political parties, as well as seven individuals—who are contesting seats in the upcoming by-election.

The death of U Sai San Nyunt removes the USDP’s opportunity to compete for the regional seat in Shan State. Voters in Mong Hsu will instead choose between candidates from the National League for Democracy, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Shan Nationalities Democratic Party and the Wa Liberal Democratic Development Party.

The election campaign period is scheduled from Jan. 30 until March 30.

Sai Htoo Lin Kyaw said the ballot papers for the constituency had already been printed and included the deceased USDP candidate’s name.

In the 2015 general election, U Soe Myint, who was a regional candidate for the National League for Democracy in Sagaing Division, suddenly passed away on the campaign trail. Post-mortem, he got more votes than the competing USDP candidate, but the victory was rejected by the UEC and the USDP candidate was awarded the seat.