Myanmar: Lack of election in northern Rakhine will bring loss to local-favoured parties only: NLD spokesperson

Only the political parties favoured by locals will suffer losses if the election cannot be held in northern Rakhine State. The NLD’s defeat in those regions is a tradition, said Dr. Myo Nyunt, Spokesperson of the Ruling National League for Democracy, after a ceremony to mark the 72nd Independence Day at the NLD (headquarters) in Yangon on January 4.

The political parties which always win victory in the elections will lose their representation in parliaments if the election cannot be held. I think it is not a loss for the NLD,” Dr. Myo Nyunt added.

The NLD formed the government as it secured the majority seats in the 2015 General Election. But the NLD won a few seats in Rakhine and Shan States.

The NLD won seats in Manaung, Thandwe, Taungup and Gwa Townships in Rakhine State while the Arakan National Party (ANP) secured the majority votes and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), some votes.

The NLD lost the seats in Ann and Yathaedaung Townships, in 2017 and 2018 by-elections.

The election is likely to be held in late 2020. But the ongoing fights between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA), are taking place in the majority of townships in the northern Rakhine State.

U Tun Aung Kyaw, a member of the policy affairs leading committee of the Arakan National Party said: “Holding the election in Rakhine State largely relies on the desires of armed organizations for peace. Lack of election will have more impacts on locals rather than the political parties. The reason is only the MPs can reflect the people’s losses, oppression, lack of freedom and needs through the parliament which is a political platform.”

Apart from Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships in Rakhine State, the Union Election Commission carried out the compilation of basic voter lists for the 2020 General Election, across the country, from July to September, 2019.

At the end of 2019, U Myint Naing, a member of the UEC said that the UEC was planning to hold the election in all townships in Rakhine State.

The AA’s Military Chief Maj-Gen Tun Myat Naing told a local media that the government needs to negotiate with the AA if it wants to hold the election in Rakhine State.