Based on preliminary ballot counts from Sunday’s general election, the National League for Democracy (NLD) says it is on track to win representation in 36 out of 39 constituencies in Chin State.
The NLD is claiming victories in all constituencies in Paletwa, Matupi, Mindat, Kanpetlet, Falam, Thantlang and Tedim townships, as well as for four seats in Hakha and two in Tonzang.
At the time of reporting, official voting results had not yet been released by the Union Election Commission (UEC).
Zo Bwe, the chairperson for the NLD in Chin State, attributed the projected results to the efforts of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the de-facto head of the NLD government.
“People in Chin State have responded to the goodwill of the State Counsellor. That’s why the NLD won a majority of seats in Chin State,” he told Khonumthung News. “We respect all voters in Chin State. They have given us the duty to develop our state and to establish a federal Union. We will try to implement those things.”
Nearly all state ministers from the previous NLD government ran for re-election on November 8; most appear to have won their bids, with the exception of transportation minister Shwe Htee O.
The Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) was seen as the major rival for the NLD in most constituencies in Chin State, but according to unofficial results, only one CNLD candidate is believed to have won: Pu Siang Mang in Hakha’s Constituency 1.
“We expected to win in at least 11 constituencies, but actually, we’ve won in only one constituency. I am very surprised by this,” CNLD secretary Salai Pepe told Khonumthung News, noting that the influence of Aung San Suu Kyi remains strong in the region.
“It may also be connected to the quality and capacity of our electoral candidates. I think that people made their decision. I can speculate that we, the CNLD, are still not in the minds of the people,” Salai Pepe added.
At the time of reporting, Cang Ngai Mang, from the Zomi Congress for Democracy (ZCD), was leading the race for a Lower House seat in Tonzang, and current social welfare minister Pau Lum Ming Thang appeared to have been successful in his bid for a state parliament seat representing Tonzang’s Constituency 2 for the ZCD.
In Burma’s last general election in 2015, the NLD won 18 parliamentary seats in Chin State, followed by the ZCD with six seats, and the Union Solidarity and Development Party with five seats.
[Editor’s note: The UEC canceled voting in 94 out of 102 village tracts in Paletwa Township in the 2020 election, citing ongoing instability. Following the move, just 10,000 out of the township’s 60,000 voters were still eligible to vote across the township’s two constituencies.]