NDF to field 161 election candidates

The National Democratic Force (NLD) is leading by a stretch Burma’s various opposition and third force parties in terms of numbers of election candidates it will look to field.

A list (below) compiled by DVB of 19 of the 42 parties competing for seats on 7 November shows that the NDF, which was born from the ashes of the disbanded National League for Democracy (NLD) party, will field 161 candidates across three parliaments.

In contrast, the Union Democracy Party (UDP), one of the opposition’s more outspoken groups, will field only three. The party announced last month that its leader, Phyo Min Thein, had quit his post in protest at lack of election law reform. The UDP had already warned that the 500,000 kyat (US$500) fee for each candidate would force it to significantly reduce the amount of people competing for seats.

But it is one of the traditionally sidelined ethnic parties that is closely chasing the NDF, with the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) having submitted 157 candidates to the Election Commission for vetting.

This however may come as no surprise to those who remember the 1990 elections: although the NLD swept the board with around 80 percent of seats, it was the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) who came in third, with a substantial support base in Burma’s eastern Shan state, many of whom could well back the SNDP this time around.

Another prominent opposition party, the Democratic Party (DP), has announced it will field 50 candidates while the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics (UMFNP), which is led by former student activist turned anti-sanctions campaigner Aye Lwin, has put forward 53.

But not all of the candidates submitted for vetting will necessarily compete in the polls, with the final word belonging to the junta-appointed Election Commission, whom observers claim could ensure that approved candidates bear no threat to the chances of government-backed parties winning.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is headed by current prime minister, Thein Sein, has said it will field nearly 1000 candidates, ten times more than the NDF, while around a quarter of parliamentary seats have already been awarded to the military.

While there are three parliaments to be fought over – the People’s Parliament, Nationalities Parliament and Regions Parliament – a number of ethnic parties will field four sets of candidates, while ethnic minority populations can cast four votes.

The reason is that a minority population living outside of their birthplace – a Karen living in Rangoon, for example – can vote for one candidate in the Regions Parliament for Rangoon, and one for a candidate in Karen state, but he/she could only vote in Rangoon if the Karen make up more than 0.01 percent of the population there.

Submission of candidate lists to Election Commission

No

Name of Party

People Parliament

National Parliament

Division/

State

Ethnic

Total

1

Inn National Development Party

1

1

2

5

2

Wunthanu NLD

4

4

3

Kayin Peoples Party

8

5

25

5

43

4

Union Democratic Party

2

1

3

5

Modern people Party

7

4

19

30

6

Unity and Democracy Party (Kachin State)

2

3

2

2

9

7

Democratic Party (Myanmar)

23

10

17

50

8

Shan Nationalities Democratic Party

45

15

96

1

157

9

Diversity and Peace Party

3

2

2

7

10

Rakhine Nationalities Progressive Party

12

8

23

1

44

11

All Mon Regional Democracy Party

8-

9-

15-

1

35

12

Democracy and Peace Party

8

1

9

13

National Development Democratic Party

6

7

12

25

14

National Democracy Force

112

34

15

161

15

88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar)

23

11

4

34

16

Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics

30

11

10

51

17

Kaman National Progressive Party

2

1

3

6

18

Myanmar New Society Democratic Party

19

Chin Progressive Party

9

12

18

1

40

No

Name of Party

People Parliament

National Parliament

Division/

State

Ethnic

Total

Note

1

Inn National Development Party

1

1

2

5

2

Wunthanu NLD

4

4

3

Kayin Peoples Party

8

5

25

5

43

4

Union Democracy Party

2

1

3

5

Modern people Party

7

4

19

30

6

Unity and Democracy Party (Kachin State)

2

3

2

2

9

7

Democratic Party (Myanmar)

23

10

17

50

8

Shan Natioanalities Democratic Party

45

15

96

1

157

9

Diversity and Peace Party

3

2

2

7

10

Rakhine Nationalities Progressive Party

12

8

23

1

44

11

All Mon Regional Democracy Party

8-

9-

15-

1

35

12

Democracy and Peace Party

8

1

9

13

National Development Democratic Party

6

7

12

25

14

National Democracy Force

112

34

15

161

15

88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar)

23

11

4

34

16

Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics

30

11

10

51

17

Kaman National Progressive Party

2

1

3

6

18

Myanmar New Society Democratic Party

19

Chin Progressive Party

9

12

18

1

40

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