UEC Will Announce in October if Election is Suspended

By Network Media Group
Friday, September 4, 2020

The Government of Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) said it has no plans to suspend the 2020 general election because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But if a suspension is necessary, it will be announced in October.

Myint Naing, from UEC, told the media at a September 2 press conference that the recent coronavirus outbreak has mainly affected Sittwe and Yangon. In October, if the situation is still serious, “we’ll announce the list of constituencies where polling can’t happen.”

“I think we can’t hold elections in some townships in Wa region and Rakhine State.”

To prevent infections, Myint Naing said they are preparing to build more polling stations, so there will be less crowding on election day, currently scheduled for November 8.

Since a bank employee in Sittwe tested positive on August 16 there have been at least 450 local transmissions in Rakhine State. While in Yangon, at least 150 cases have been reported since August 19. Other cases were confirmed in Yangon, Bago, Mandalay, Tanintharyi and Shan, Kachin and Mon states.

The Ministry of Health and Sports reported on September 4 that there were 1,133 confirmed cases in the country, while 359 recovered and 7 died. A dramatic increase after a long period when no domestic transmissions were detected.

During the election, there were 1,863 electoral candidates from political parties and 71 independent candidates contesting seats in the House of Representatives. And there are 947 candidates from political parties and 29 independents vying for seats in the House of Nationalities (senate).

In addition, 3,700 electoral candidates from political parties and 33 independent candidates contested seats in regional and state parliaments. A total of 179 electoral candidates from political parties and independent candidates will contest the ethnic affairs ministerial postings.