Political Parties Kick Off Election Campaigns in Mon State

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Several parties contesting the 2020 general election in Mon State began kicking off their election campaigns yesterday after the Union Election Commission (UEC) announced dates from September 8 to November 6.

Win Maw Oo, who is the spokesperson for the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for Mon State, said because of the pandemic his candidates won’t go door to door during this race. “We will start campaigning in public spaces.” The military-backed party will contest all 45 constituencies in Mon State.

The UEC announced that only 50 people were allowed to gather at a time during the campaign.

The National League for Democracy (NLD), which is also contesting every constituency in the state, started getting ready for campaigning.

The Mon Unity Party (MUP) will contest 35 constituencies. MUP spokesperson Nai Layi Tama told NMG that as UEC only announced the dates a few days ago, the party had just begun devising a campaign schedule. “I think we will have a work plan in the coming days.”

While bigger parties are preparing for their candidate’s appearances in the public sphere, some independent candidates are boosting their presence online.

Aung Naing Win, who’s an independent electoral candidate contesting a seat in the House of Nationalities, told NMG because of restrictions during the pandemic that the majority of his campaigning will be through Facebook. “As an independent candidate, I don’t have the financial or human resources to launch my campaign (in the public space).”

There are 302 candidates from both parties and as independents contesting the election.

The government’s Ministry of Health and Sports has reported over a thousand cases of COVID-19 since August 16, when an employee of a bank in Sittwe tested positive. Prior to this, there were only about 400 cases. The first transmission was reported in the country in late March. However, it is difficult to determine when the first COVID-19 case appeared in Burma because testing in the SE Asian country was limited until recently.