Dispute Over Eligibility Arises Between Chin Affairs Ministerial Candidates in Sagaing

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The Kalay Township Election Commission resolved a dispute on Wednesday between two candidates contesting for the position of Chin ethnic affairs minister in the Sagaing Region.

San Thawng Thang, who is running with the Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) had publicly suggested that his rival, independent candidate Lalthang Con, was ineligible to run for the post because he was not yet 35 years old. Lalthang Con filed a complaint with the local election commission regarding the matter and insisted on his eligibility.

“I was dissatisfied with what the CNLD candidate San Thawng Thang was saying,” Lalthang Con told Khonumthung News, confirming that he is 34 years old. “He had said, ‘if people cast ballots for him, all those ballots will be wasted.’”

San Thawng Thang said that the subject of Lalthang Con’s age came up in a public question-and-answer session, but that he had never spoken to him about the issue personally.

“Some people asked me whether a person could be elected as a minister, according to the Constitution… they pointed out that there were two electoral candidates under age 35. Could they be elected as a minister? I explained by quoting from our Constitution,” San Thawng Thang, told Khonumthung News.

Chair of Kalay’s election commission Gin Hkant Pao said he resolved the issue between the two candidates on November 4.

“I tried to negotiate between them to resolve the dispute. Both of them had complaints and they said that they were right,” he said. “In the end, I successfully negotiated between them. San Thawng Thang made a promise to not speak [about Lalthang Con’s age]again. Lalthang Con was satisfied with that. Now, this dispute is over.”

Six electoral candidates affiliated with political parties and four independent candidates will run for the Chin ethnic affairs ministerial post in Sagaing Region in Burma’s general election on November 8.

The independent candidates are Lalthang Con, Tong Lam Thang, Bon Zanang and Bwel Nouk. The party-affiliated candidates are San Thawng Thang of the CNLD, Lal Rin Moong of the National League for Democracy, San Ra Ouk of the Nation Unity Party, Than Sel Yar of the Union Solidarity and Development Party, Dr. Gin Hel Liang of the National Political Democratic Party and Lal Bwe Bik of the Union Betterment Party.

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