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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Myanmar's Election Commission rejects candidacy of Muslim leaders.

Myanmar's Election Commission rejects candidacy of Muslim leaders.(AN).

Myanmar's Election Commission (UEC) yesterday rejected the proposals made by all members of an Islamic party over issues of citizenship, effectively blocking the party’s participation in the general elections scheduled for 8 November.

The committee members rejected the applications of 17 people (out of a total of 18) who wanted to run for a seat in Parliament. The UEC say they violate the rule under which a candidate must have parents of Burmese nationality at birth and must have lived for at least 10 consecutive years in the country.

The decision, say the leaders of the party, may well determine the dissolution of the Democracy and Human Rights Party (DHRP) of Islamic inspiration.

At least 11 of the rejected candidates come from the western state of Rakhine, plagued since 2012 by sectarian violence between Burmese Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya. A conflict which in recent months have caused the flight of hundreds of thousands of refugees. The other six are living in Yangon Division.

Interviewed by Radio Free Asia (RFA) Dhrp leader Kyaw Min said that "the notification of refusal does not specify the reasons" but says only that the candidates violate "laws and regulations". Party leaders have seven days to appeal, added the man, also a Rohingya, who was a member of Parliament in the 1990 election (won by the National League for Democracy and never acknowledged by the military dictatorship).

If the Election Commission confirms the decision on appeal, the party is destined to dissolution according to the rule laid down by the Law on the registration of political parties, because any party requires at least three valid candidates to justify its existence. And, again by law, they cannot be replaced in the running by candidates who do not comply with the requirements established by law.

Kyaw Min said that all candidates have the necessary citizenship documents and all of them are registered in the national lists. "The rejection - he concluded - is not based on the law. It is just an attempt by them to not give us [political] space ".

On the subject, speakers included representatives of the National League for Democracy (NLD), that the decisions made by UEC - which rejected the applications for issues of citizenship - are quite "unconstitutional".

In recent days the Myanmar political and institutional leaders of the have taken a number of decisions which, according to activists and experts, affect the rights and traditions of the Muslim minority (5% of the total). In addition to the rejection of candidates, there is the enactment of a set of rules - the most recent published recently which prohibits polygamy - strongly desired by Buddhist extremist fringe that has long campaigned against the followers of Islam in the country . More here.

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