Elections


Ahead of Myanmar’s general election this autumn, the country’s parliament speaker Thura Shwe Mann is creating a stir. When he visited the U.S. earlier this month, Shwe Mann met a number of influential U.S. politicians and dropped hints that he will join the presidential race.
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A bid by Burma’s first all-female party to register for the upcoming general election has been rejected by the Union Election Commission (UEC) on the basis that its name, the Women’s Party, is too general.
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The Chin National Democratic Party (CNDP) conducted a workshop for the 2015 general elections due in November at Thantlang town in Chin State on 30 April 2015. There were 70 participants from all party units in the town at the workshop.  It mainly discussed the current peace process, the objectives of regional parties and how to prepare for the ensuing 2015 general elections.
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The Mon National Party (MNP) and the All Mon Regions Democracy Party(AMDP) will give priority to youths and women to represent their parties in the 2015 general elections.
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Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday (May 7) praised the “co-operative spirit” of political rival Shwe Mann, after the powerful parliament speaker – tipped as a potential presidential candidate – said he is open to an alliance with the opposition leader.
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Burma’s last general election, held in 2010, was largely viewed as fraudulent, an assessment that many blamed on inaccurate and doctored voter lists. As this year’s landmark election draws near, new voter lists are beginning to take shape. The first phase of voter lists in Rangoon was rolled out in late March, when a preliminary list of all eligible voters in 10 townships were made public. Phase two, which will catalog another 14 of the city’s 45 townships, is set to be publicly displayed for two weeks starting on May 25.
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The speaker of Myanmar’s parliament says he would be willing to serve as president if nominated, and to cooperate with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, or anyone working in the interests of the country. (more…)

The United Nations has urged Myanmar to ensure that journalists can report “without fear” during crucial general elections later this year as the former junta-ruled nation marked World Press Freedom Day in Yangon.
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The Myanmar soldier, wearing his crisp green uniform, rifles through a box of T-shirts for a souvenir of his time in the country’s fledgling legislature — a deeply controversial position in the former junta-run nation on the cusp of key elections.
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Khin Aung Myint appears to have once again poured cold water on opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s post-election prospects, after the Upper House speaker said that questions of the presidency should be considered within the “national interest”.
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Burma’s upcoming elections may bring violence and other security challenges, warns a Belgium-based NGO.
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A total of 73 political parties are eligible to compete in the upcoming general election slated for the end of this year, with 14 more pending approval as the deadline for party registration passed on 30 April.
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The Union Election Commission announced that the shift to a proportional representation (PR) system for the election of Upper House lawmakers in the 2015 election will not materialise unless the resolution of the constitutional tribunal is received by the end of April, said Upper House MP Dr Myat Nyana Soe on April 29.
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A report from an influential international think-tank has raised concerns about Burma’s ability to hold credible elections late this year, while noting that developments over the last five years offer voters a chance at the most legitimate poll in a quarter century.
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As the deadline looms for aspiring political parties to register with Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) ahead of the 2015 general election, one applicant has caused a minor commotion on social media after rumors swirled that the party would be comprised of ex-generals and supported by a top advisor to President Thein Sein.
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi sparked controversy when she told Reuters newsagency in an interview on April 3 that National League for Democracy would not rule out a boycott of the general election due later this year if the constitution is not amended.
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November’s election could bring higher inflation and a bigger budget deficit, experts have warned. International Monetary Fund officials told The Myanmar Times in Washington that the deficit could rise despite government attempts to restrain it.
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Elected representatives who won seats in Burma’s historic 1990 election, the results of which were ignored by the former military regime, will mark the 25th anniversary of the poll next month.
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Most Union Solidarity and Development Party MPs and government ministers have been nominated by the party to stand again in this year’s election, a senior official said yesterday, although it appears likely some older members will step aside.
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The formation of the newly established Women’s Party has still not been approved by the Union Election Commission (UEC), its leaders say, adding that they have been harassed and interrogated by security forces since they made their initial application last year.
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