Myanmar Proposes Delaying Nov. 8 Elections Due To Flooding

Arifa
By October 13, 2015 18:58

Myanmar Proposes Delaying Nov. 8 Elections Due To Flooding

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar — Myanmar’s election commission on Tuesday proposed delaying the Nov. 8 general election either nationwide or in some areas hit by landslides and flooding.

Union Election Commission Chairman Tin Aye told reporters that the election to choose a new parliament “might be delayed.”

He made the comment after meeting with different political parties to propose the postponement. The opposition National League for Democracy party led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi said it is against a delay.

Tin Aye said the commission would release a statement in about two days with a possible new election date.

He didn’t say whether the polls might be delayed nationwide or only in areas affected by landslides and flooding in western and northwestern Myanmar.

“Why don’t you … just wait until the statement is released, it could be nationwide too,” Tin Aye said.

The general election is supposed to be followed by a presidential election early next year when the army and the elected members of parliament nominate a total of three candidates, and then all lawmakers vote for the president.

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation, began moving from a half-century of military rule toward democracy in 2011 when a nominally civilian government, led by a pro-military party, took office. Though there are many concerns — including the exclusion of ethnic Rohingya Muslims from the process and irregularities in voting lists — most observers believe the upcoming elections are the country’s best chance in decades for relatively free and credible polls.

If the elections are credible, most observers believe Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy will win the most seats in parliament, and could even control a majority by forming a coalition with smaller parties.

Source: AP

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Arifa
By October 13, 2015 18:58

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