The Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) announced last week it would contest the general election in at least 48 constituencies in two states and two regions.
The constituencies include all 33 in Chin State, eight in Magwe Region, four in Sagaing Region, and as well as the Chin affairs ministerial posts Rakhine State and Sagaing and Magwe.
The announcement came on July 22, following approval by CNLD secretary Salai Ceu Bik Thawng in a party meeting on July 19.
“We already approved 48 representatives. Some people are still applying to be electoral candidates, so our selection process is ongoing. The number of electoral candidates is likely to increase later,” Salai Ceu Bik Thawng told Khonumthung News.
He said that his party expects the final number may be up to 60 constituencies.
Salai Ceu Bik Thawng said that local people should stand with the CNLD regarding their platform of prioritizing federalism and ethnic political issues and that this is what sets the party apart from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).
“Our party is struggling for federalism and rights to self-determination,” he told Khonumthung News. “The USDP government did regional development. Currently, the ruling NLD government is working for the foundation of democracy. There are many things left behind. As an ethnic political party, we want to work for federalism, anti-corruption, ethnic language teaching, and so on. Therefore, people need to stand with ethnic political parties this time.”
The CNLD is a merger of the Chin Progressive Party (CPP), Chin National Democratic Party (CNDP), and Chin League for Democracy (CLD). Political analysts have described the CNLD is the primary ethnic rival of the NLD and USDP in Chin State.
The CPP, CNDP and CLD ran separately in the 2015 general election but did not win any parliamentary seats in Chin State.