Shanni Party Launching Online Election Campaign

By Network Media Group
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Responding to campaign restrictions set by the Union Election Commission (UEC), youth members of the Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party (TNDP) announced plans to focus on online election campaigning when the party contests the 2020 general election.

“We’re preparing to face this challenge,” said Sai Htay Aung, chair of TNDP, told NMG. “We’ll launch an online election campaign and take lessons from the Thai youth party.” He says TNDP will announce more details about its online campaign after its campaign dates are firmly established.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UEC banned political parties from organizing large gatherings to prevent viral infections during campaigning.

Sai Htay Aung admitted working around the new regulations to encourage social distancing for the November 8 election would be difficult. In the past, TNDP campaigners would go door to door to talk to constituents and they would “discuss many issues while having tea in their house.”

“We have to change our campaign style because we want to win the election.”

During this campaign period, TNDP plans to distribute many pamphlets, Sai Htay Aung told NMG.

TNDP is contesting 15 townships in Kachin State and Sagaing Region. In Kachin State, the party will contest seats in Mohnyin, Mogaung and Hpakant townships in Mohnyin District; Myitkyina and Waintmaw townships in Myitkyina District; as well as Bhamo, Moemauk, Mansi and Shwegu townships in Bhamo District. In Sagaing Region, it is fielding candidates for Indaw, Bamauk, Pinlaebu, Homalin, Khamti and Tamu townships.

While youth participation in the party has increased since the 2015 election, there are fewer female candidates than during the previous election.

TNDP is concerned that freedom of movement will be restricted due to pandemic travel restrictions and regional insecurity in areas controlled by armed groups.