UEC rejects Muslim parliamentary candidates

02 September 2015
UEC rejects Muslim parliamentary candidates
The Union Election Building. Photo: UEC

Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC) on Tuesday rejected all but one candidate from an Islamic party based on citizenship requirements in a move that could lead to the party’s disbandment RFA reported on 1 September quoting the organization’s political leader.
The commission rejected the applications of 17 of 18 candidates who had filed to run for parliamentary seats as members of the Democracy and Human Rights Party (DHRP), Kyaw Min (a) Mahmood Shomshul Anwarul Haque, the party’s chairman, told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
Eleven of the rejected candidates are from Rakhine state, and the six others are from the Yangon division, he said, leaving only one party candidate to stand in the elections.
The DHRP is preparing to appeal to the UEC within seven days, although it has not filed yet, said Kyaw Min, a Rohingya candidate who himself was rejected, although he was a member of the parliament elected in the 1990 elections.  
If the UEC rejects the party’s appeal, the DHRP, which was founded by Muslim politicians and activists, would be deregistered under a provision in the country’s Political Parties Registration Law that requires a party to put forth at least three candidates or face disbandment.
All the candidates from Rakhine state are Rohingya, whom the Myanmar government views as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and refers to them as “Bengalis,” although many have lived there for generations.
Kyaw Min, however, pointed out that all the rejected DHRP candidates have citizenship cards or national registration cards.