According to the results announced by the Union Election Commission, the National League for Democracy took the largest share of the 19 seats available, capturing nine spots, while the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy kept the race close, picking up another six seats. The Arakan National Party (ANP) and the All Nationalities Democracy Party (ANDP) each took one seat, in Rakhine and Kayah states respectively. The Union Solidarity and Development Party gained ground with two additional seats, one in Mon State and one in Shan State.
“I want to congratulate the winning ethnic parties. By looking at the [by-election] results, I think ethnic people have a better understanding [of the voting system] now,” Saw Say Wah, vice chair of the Kayin People’s Party, told Karen News after ethnic parties swept the state seats.
“We need to focus not only on democracy, but also on ethnic issues. [These wins] represent a political shift. The Karen people need to follow this shift,” he added.
The Karen National Party vice chair expressed similar praise for the ethnic parties’ wins, adding that the victories bode well for ethnic parties’ place in the political system.
“Ethnic voters … have started to understand that they can only depend on ethnic parties [to establish] a federal Union. In the past, [the composition of the Union] didn’t matter to [the voters] as long as the military dictatorship no longer existed. Even though there aren’t any military dictators anymore, they now understand that the civil war won’t end if there is no federal Union,” said KNP’s Mahn Htein Win Sein.
The UEC results show that the NLD continued to dominate the region heartland, winning five Pyithu Hluttaw seats: Hlaing Thar Yar, Kawhmu, East Dagon, Dagon Seikkan, and Monywa. The ruling party also gained three more Amyotha Hluttaw seats: Chin State Constituency 3, Bago Region Constituency 4, and Yangon Region Constituency 6. The NLD added one more seat in the Shan State Hluttaw in Nyaungshwe township.
The SNLD won two Pyithu Hluttaw seats, taking Shan State’s Kyethi and Mong Hsu townships. The party also took those townships’ four Shan State Hluttaw seats.
The USDP won one Pyithu Hluttaw seat in Mon State’s Chaungzone township, as well as one Shan State Hluttaw seat in Kyaingtong/Kengtung township.
The ANP won the Pyithu Hluttaw seat in Ann township, Rakhine State, and the ANDP won a seat in the Kayah State Hluttaw.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited by Laignee Barron
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