Myanmar calls General Election for 8th November
Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC) has confirmed that a general election will take place on Sunday 8th November.
A total of 1,142 seats will be contested, 330 constituencies to the lower house, 168 for the upper house, and 644 for regional/state parliaments with a further 29 regional seats to be appointed to national race representatives. The campaign period will last 60 days.
The last general election in November 2010 was held under military rule and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which includes retired military and remnants of the previous regime, inevitably won a clear majority.
In the lower House of Representatives (Pyithu Hluttaw) the USDP won 259 of the 436 seats with a further 110 seats being appointed to military appointees (Known as Army Representatives). Ten smaller opposition parties won the remaining seats including the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) with 18 seats and the National Unity Party (NUP) with 12 seats.
In the upper House of Nationalities (Amyotha Hluttaw) the USDP won 129 of the 224 seats and 56 were appointed. The Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) won seven seats, the NUP won five and six other parties won representation.
There are around 63 registered political parties. This time the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi should be a leading contender. In 2012 by-elections across 45 seats were held and the NLD picked up 43 of these seats (37 in the lower house, four in the upper house and two in regional chambers). However, the forthcoming general election is still likely to end up with the USDP at the centre of power with the support of the roughly 25% of seats held by the military.