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By-elections to Take Place at 2,000 Polling Places

Voting for the upcoming by-elections will occur at 2,000 polling places in designated constituencies, according to an announcement from the Union Election Commission of Myanmar. The candidates will compete for 19 vacant seats, of which nine are in the Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives – Lower House), three are in the Amyotha Hluttaw (House of Nationalities – Upper House) and the rest are in State legislatures in Kayah and Shan states.

Of the vacancies, some are left by parliamentarians appointed to government offices while the others remain available as it was not possible to hold elections in some constituencies due to instability at the time of the last general elections in November, 2015. Seven individual contestants plus 88 candidates representing 24 parties will run the by-elections, which will be the first in the current government’s tenure.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) will be the biggest competitor with 19 contestants, followed by the National League for Democracy (NLD) with 18, not competing for a Kayah State vacant seat. The number of female candidates amounts to 16 of the total 95 contenders.

The by-elections were announced to take place on April 1st while the election results are scheduled to be released within four days of voting.