CNLD Announces Plans to Run in Nearly All Constituencies in Chin State

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The Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) will contest at least 35 parliamentary seats in Chin State in Burma’s coming election, party representatives said.

The Union Election Commission (UEC) has scheduled the 2020 general election for November 8.

“I cannot confirm the exact number, but I think we will run in at least 35 out of 39 constituencies in Chin State,” Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, the general secretary of the CNLD, told Khonumthung News.

According to Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, the CNLD could run for all the seats in Chin State’s eight townships but has yet to decide if it will contest in Paletwa Township because of the ongoing armed conflict between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army there. Paletwa has five seats available, but locals, political parties, and civil society organizations question whether the election will be held there, despite the township’s inclusion on the UEC list of constituencies.

The ruling National League for Democracy has already selected its candidates for Paletwa Township. Pyae Min and Hwi Tin will run for the Upper House seats, Aung Shwe for the Lower House, Soe Htet—current state municipal minister—and Myo Hteik will run for the state parliament seats.

Ethnic Chin political analyst Salai Khin Maung Thein said that one party alone is not likely to win a landslide in this year’s election. The NLD won a majority of available seats in the 2015 election; 25 percent of seats remain reserved for the military, as is stipulated by the 2008 Constitution.

“The Chin political party will be a good rival for the NLD in the coming general election in Chin State. If a political party wins 13 seats in Chin State, perhaps the party could form the [state]government,” he explained. “But it will be very difficult for a party to win 13 seats in the election in Chin State.”

His comment was in reference to the total of 26 seats in the state parliament, noting that 13 seats would make up half.

The CNLD will also contest for Chin Affairs ministerial posts in Rakhine State and Magwe and Sagaing regions.

The party will announce their candidate list by the end of July.

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