Mon State Election Commission Announces Candidate List With Muslim Candidate Disqualified

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Mon State Election Commission has announced the official candidate list, which includes three withdrawals and one disqualification.

“Electoral candidate U Maung Maung, who registered to contest for election in Kyaikmayaw Township, was disqualified because he was not in line with election law Article 8(b) and Article 10(e),” Mawlamyine District election commission officer Htin Kyaw told NMG.

Htin Kyaw did not elaborate on the ruling, but Article 8(b) and 10(e) disqualify people from running for election if one or both of their parents were not citizens of Burma.

At the time of reporting further information was not available about why Maung Maung’s parents’ citizenship status was questioned. Of note is that Maung Maung is a Muslim, a group long discriminated against within Burma’s tiered citizenship system.

Mon News reported at the end of August that Maung Maung had resigned from the ruling National League for Democracy party in June to run as an independent candidate. The article highlighted Maung Maung’s dissatisfaction with the state election commission’s ruling, which he said came so late that he said he was unable to appeal.

The three candidates who voluntarily withdrew from the election were candidates for the Upper House, state parliament, and the Bamar ethnic affairs ministerial post in Mon State.

A remaining 302 people, including 12 independent candidates and the rest representing 17 political parties, will contest in the coming general election in November. The final list was declared on August 30, and will be posted in district, township, ward and village election commission offices.

Sixty-five people will run for the Lower House, 78 for the Upper House, 136 for the Mon State parliament, seven for the Bamar ethnic affairs ministerial post, and eight for each the Karen and the Pa-O affairs ministerial posts.

Mawlamyine election commission officer Htin Kyaw said that official ID cards began being issued to candidates declaring them as such on August 31.

There are total of 45 constituencies being contested in Mon State, including 10 Lower House seats, 12 Upper House seats, 20 Mon State parliament seats, and three ethnic affairs ministerial posts for the Bamar, Karen and Pa-O groups.