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A total of 73 political parties are eligible to compete in the upcoming general election slated for the end of this year, with 14 more pending approval as the deadline for party registration passed on 30 April.
Union Election Commission (UEC) deputy director Hla Maung Cho told DVB that of the 73 registered parties, 53 of them aim to run in constituencies nationwide while 20 intend to compete only at a regional level.
Forty-three ethnic-based parties are among those registered with the UEC.
Hla Maung Cho said the 14 parties still under consideration will be informed of the UEC’s decision in time to prepare for the election.
If all pending 14 parties are approved, 2015 could potentially see a total of 87 political parties on the ballots, more than twice the number at the last general election in 2010.
Pe Than, a lower house MP representing the Rakhine National Party in Arakan State’s Myebon, said, “No matter how many parties there are, as the election draws nearer the voters will gain a clearer image of which parties or candidates have the potential to win, and will only vote for one of them. They won’t even consider the rest.”
According to UEC regulations, each party must compete in at least three constituencies.
The UEC is slated to announce the election date at least 90 days ahead of polling.
Nan Khin Htwe Myint, executive committee member of the National League for Democracy, said her party is looking to win a landslide victory – just as it had in the 1990 general election and the 2012 by-elections.
“We have formed campaign committees at ward and village levels. Once the voter lists are out, they will check the lists to ensure that all eligible voters are included, and then advise the public about what they can do if their names are not on the voter lists,” she said.