Yangon Ditches Campaign Ban on Party Logos For Local Elections

By Thazin Hlaing 24 January 2019

YANGON — The Yangon municipal election commission has reversed an order banning candidates for the March 31 local polls from using their party logos while campaigning.

“We have reversed our previous decision and announced that the logos of political parties, big or small, the Union Solidarity Development Party or the National League for Democracy, can be used to ensure a free and fair election,” commission chairman U Aung Khine told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

The commission originally said that political party members could contest the elections but could not use their party logos and emblems in their campaigns.

Not everyone was please with the about-face.

“There are countries that allow the use of party logos in municipal elections. But it is not good that [the municipal election commission] changes its decision often,” said Daw Thin Thin, a Sanchang Township resident who is monitoring the polls.

A total of 105 seats will be up for grabs: three in each of the city’s 33 townships and six for the executive board of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

The elections will be held under the new YCDC Law, which came into effect on June 28 and supplements the 2013 Municipal Law. One of the six elected committee members will be named vice mayor, a post created by the new law to ease the workload of the mayor of Myanmar’s largest city.

Candidates have until Monday to submit applications to contest the elections. The list of qualified candidates will be announced in the second week of February.

The first-ever municipal elections were held in Yangon in December 2014.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.