June 30, 2017

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Ethnic minorities aim for greater representation in 2016 parliament

Nay Pyi Taw’s parliamentary complex. The Nationalities Brotherhood Federation, an alliance of ethnic  minority political parties, will field 710 candidates in the 2015 general elections, with an aim to ensure  greater representation in the 2016 Parliament.— Photo: Ye Myint
Nay Pyi Taw’s parliamentary complex. The Nationalities Brotherhood Federation, an alliance of ethnic minority political parties, will field 710 candidates in the 2015 general elections, with an aim to ensure greater representation in the 2016 Parliament.— Photo: Ye Myint

YANGON— A coalition of 23 ethnic political parties comprising 710 candidates is looking to ensure greater ethnic representation in the next Parliament, said the director of the Nationalities Brotherhood Federation on Thursday.
The coalition party is hoping to gain more parliamentary seats than it did in the 2010 elections: it has targeted three-fourths of its candidates to win seats, Daw Chin Chin, the NBF’s director told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
In the 2010 general elections, the NBF was comprised of 12 political parties of ethnic minorities and won 160 seats— 94 in state parliament, 24 in Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) and 42 in Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House).
“If we gained our target seats in the 2016 parliament, the support of elected ethnic minority MPs could play a crucial role in electing the next president of Myanmar,” said the NBF director.
The alliance of ethnic political parties announced on Wednesday that the 710 nominated candidates will not limit themselves to contesting only ethnic minority constituencies.
Of the NBF candidates, 381 will seek seats in local parliaments, 300 in the national parliament— 116 for the seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw and 184 in the Pyithu Hluttaw — and 29 seats for ethnic affairs ministers.
Looking ahead to the 2015 general elections, Daw Chin Chin emphasized the role of ethnic minorities in the country’s reform and democratization process and said she hoped for greater representation of ethnic minorities in the next parliament through free and fairs polls.
According to preliminary candidate lists announced by the Union Election Commission
last month, 93 political parties will field 5,866 candidates
in 330 constituencies across the country. — GNLM

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