The two political parties based in Karen State made their claims after the Union Election Commission announced on July 1 that the upcoming 2020 election would be held on November 8, 2020.
Mahn Aung Pyi Soe, chairperson of the Karen National Democratic Party (KNDP) said.
“We haven’t yet seen any official rules or regulation for campaigning in the 2020 election. We don’t know if we are to follow social distancing or not. The Election Commission hasn’t said anything about restrictions on people gathering. Currently, we need to get permission if we gather in crowds. If this is the case for the election it will restrict our campaign activities – we won’t have freedom to hold rallies.”
Mahn Aung Pyi Soe said that when it comes to party campaigns, compared to the other large parties, his group has limited funds so their campaign will focus on national patriotism.
Saw Kin Maung Myint, chairperson of the Plone-Swaw Democratic Party said: “We will face challenges, as we will not be able to hold meetings or public speaking events if we follow the governments Covid-19 prevention measures. In this is the case, we will have to go to villages to distribute our campaign leaflets.”
Saw Kin Maung Myint said that the current situation gave an advantage to the ruling party [NLD]. Even though they also can’t hold public gatherings, but they can use their government work and field trips to campaign.
“We don’t have opportunities like the ruling party,” Saw Kin Maung Myint told Karen News.
From July 20 to August 7, all parties will have to submit their Hluttaw (Parliament) candidate names for constituency and those applications will be verified between August 11 and August 17 according to Election Commission’s statement on July 1.
The Union Election Commission’s statement said an allocation period for holding public gatherings and election campaigning will be announced after all candidates are verified.
Currently there are four Karen political parties – the Plone-Swaw Democratic Party (PSDP), Karen National Democratic Party (KNDP), Kayin People Party (KPP) and Karen National Party (KNP).