Myanmar to set up 2,000 polling stations for April 1 by-elections

Yangon, Jan 26 (IANS) Myanmar’s Union Election Commission will set up 2,000 polling stations for the country’s by-elections scheduled for April 1, the commission said on Thursday.

The by-elections, the first in the new government’s tenure, will see campaigning for 60 days starting from January 30, Xinhua news agency reported.

The by-elections aim at filling 19 vacant parliamentary seats, some of which fell vacant after Parliament members were appointed cabinet ministers, while other seats remained vacant as some constituencies failed to hold polling in the last general election in 2015.

A total of 95 candidates, including 16 women from 24 political parties and seven individuals will compete in the by-elections.

The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and the former ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), now led by U Than Htay, will be the two parties having the most number of candidates in the by-elections.

The USDP will fight in all 19 constituencies while the NLD will join the fray in 18 constituencies excluding a constituency in Kayah state.

Of the total 19 seats in 22 townships in eight regions and states, nine are in the House of Representatives (Lower House), three in the House of Nationalities (Upper House) and seven in the state parliaments.

Election results will be announced within four days of polling.