By-elections 2017: candidate vetting process begins

By-elections 2017: candidate vetting process begins

Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) has officially opened the application process for candidates to run in by-elections slated for April next year.

According to a UEC announcement, candidates representing political parties can submit their applications along with a letter of endorsement from their party between 28 November and 7 December.

Nineteen seats are up for grabs in the 2017 by-elections on 1 April. Both Burma’s major political parties, the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), have announced that they will contest seats in most constituencies.

The NLD recently announced a list of 18 candidates to run in the by-elections.

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Among the seats up for grabs in April’s polls is that formerly occupied by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi – the lower house seat representing Rangoon’s Kawhmu Township.

The 2015 elections were not held in seven townships due to security reasons. Five of those townships – Pangshang, Pangwa, Naphan, Mongmaw and Mongla (all in northern Shan State) – are still considered too unstable for polls.

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