As COVID-19 Infections Spike, Some Mon State Candidates Suspend Election Campaigns

Monday, September 21, 2020

Some parliamentary candidates in Mon State have opted to halt their campaigns ahead of the general election on November 8, citing a rise in COVID-19 infections in the state.

Khun Aung Myo Thein, who is running on behalf of the Pa-O National Organization, said that he’s turned his efforts from campaigning on the ground to doing so through Facebook.

“Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been found in Thaton and Belin [townships], so we have stopped our election campaigns in the villages for a while,” he told NMG, adding that their focus would be on online campaigning for the time being.

At the time of reporting, Burma’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) had confirmed 5,805 cases of COVID-19, along with 94 deaths and 1,260 recoveries.

Of these, 110 were the cases are in Mon State as of Friday.

Independent candidate Aung Naing Win said that he had also moved his campaign online.

“I have stopped my election campaign completely. Even though I put up a billboard with four or five people, I have completely stopped the election campaign on the ground,” he explained.

Political parties and candidates have been told to run their campaigns in line with public health guidelines put forward by the MoHS.

“We are carrying out our election campaign under the limitations of the COVID-19 period. Health issues affect the whole nation. We have to follow the health guidelines of the MoHS,” Nai Layi Tama, a spokesperson for the Mon Unity Party, told NMG.

Some candidates from the Union Solidarity and Development Party and the National League for Democracy have also suspended their electoral campaigns in Mon State

A total of 302 candidates, including 291 people from 11 political parties and 11 independent candidates, will run for election in Mon State on November 8.

The Union Election Commission announced a 60-day campaign period for parties and their candidates between September 8 and November 6.