Monday, February 20, 2017
The Myanmar Times

Election Parties

With so many new parties in contention, fielding an unprecedented number of candidates, it can be hard to keep track of who's-who. Consider this a "cheat-sheet" of sorts – a handy list of the major parties, players, and facts for those just approaching the election.
This page will be expanded as we draw closer to November 8, and periodically updated as party policy or leadership changes are announced.
Jump below:
National PartiesShan Parties | Rakhine Parties | Farmers Parties | Kachin Parties | Kayin Parties | Chin PartiesMon, Tanintharyi, & Kayah Parties |  Full Party List

 Major National Parties:
 

Founded: June 8, 2010
Based: Dekkhinathiri township, Nay Pyi Taw
Chair: U Thein Sein, U Htay Oo (acting)
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 882
Seats won 2012: 1 | Candidates in 2015: 1134

Overview: Can the “white lion” ride again? Only the most one-eyed supporters would predict a repeat of the party’s smashing victory in 2010. While the by-elections brought a crushing defeat just two years later, the party’s support is unclear. Could incumbency work in its favour? MPs have had five years to build support in their constituencies, and some have used this to their advantage. Likely to poll well in rural pockets, some ethnic areas and constituencies with large military populations.


Founded: September 27, 1988; re-registered January 5, 2012
Based: Bahan township, Yangon
Chair: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Seats won 1990: 392 | Seats won 2010: Did not compete
Seats won 2012: 43 | Candidates in 2015: 1151

Overview: The NLD needs no introduction. The party is the overwhelming favourite to win the largest number of seats in the election; the question is whether it can get over the two-thirds mark – of 334 out of 498 – that would give it more than 50 percent of all seats in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, and ensure its choice for the presidency (or the passage of bills) cannot be blocked by the military or other parties. That could be a big ask given doubts about its popularity in minority areas, but party leaders are confident.


Founded: September 24, 1988
Based: Bahan township, Yangon
Chair: U Than Tin
Seats won 1990: 10  | Seats won 2010: 64
Seats won 2012: 0 | Candidates in 2015: 763

Overview: Socialist dinosaurs or possible third force? The National Unity Party’s best shot at election resurrection was likely in 2010, when it had only the USDP to contend with. It failed to convince many voters that it offered a viable alternative, however, and that’s likely to remain the challenge this year. There are some green shoots, though, such as the recruitment of candidates like 26-year-old Ko Thurein Shwe, who will run against Vice President U Nyan Tun in Zigon.


Founded: July 9, 2015
Based: Yangon
Chair: U Nay Zin Latt
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates in 2015: 365

Overview: The NDP was causing a stir even before it was registered, mostly because founder U Nay Zin Latt was until recently a political adviser to the president. This prompted speculation the party was set up as a vehicle for U Thein Sein if things went awry in the USDP. Then there was the naming problem; party leaders initially applied to register as the “National Party” but were told this was too broad. Will this help voters recognise the party on November 8? Don’t expect the NDP to pick up too many seats, but it could spring some surprises where it has strong candidates.


Founded: May 5, 2010
Based: Mingalar Taung Nyunt township, Yangon
Chair: U Thu Wai
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 3
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 52

Overview: The Democratic Party was one of a number of “third force” groups formed to run against the USDP in 2010. Despite strong polling in some areas, it won just a few seats and has struggled to make any inroads since then. The party will do well to win more than a handful of seats, particularly with new players on the block.


Founded: July 9, 2010
Based: Bahan township, Yangon
Chair: U Khin Maung Swe
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 16
Seats won 2012: 0 | Candidates in 2015: 275

Overview: The past five years have been tough for the NDF, with a number of MPs breaking away and its members being snubbed by the NLD, from whom they broke away in 2010. Its poor showing in the by-elections prompted some to question its future role in Myanmar politics. The party has a large contingent of candidates, however, including some with a strong chance of victory.


A closer look at 8 ethnic minority parties in Shan State

Founded: May 26, 2010
Based: Taunggyi, Shan State
Senior members: Sai Aik Pao (chair), Sai Hsaung Hsi (vice chair)
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 57
Seats won 2012: 1 | Candidates in 2015: 211

Overview: The SNDP were one of the few opposition success stories to come out of the 2010 election, winning the second-highest number of seats in the national parliament, with 21. The party fielded more than 150 candidates, and only voting irregularities stopped them from winning a higher percentage. This year’s vote will be a crucial test for the party, however, as it seeks to build on – or at least maintain – its result from 2010 in the face of stronger competition from the NLD and the SNLD.


Founded: 1988 (re-registered June 12, 2012)
Based: Mayangone, Yangon
Chair: U Khun Htun Oo
Seats won 1990: 23 | Seats won 2010: Did not compete
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 156

Overview: The SNLD won the second-highest number of seats in 1990, after the NLD, but saw many of its members imprisoned under the military regime, including leader U Khun Htun Oo. He was still serving a 90-year sentence for treason in 2010 when the party decided not to contest that year’s election and was deregistered. Two years later it reformed and has re-established links with other 1990 parties, including the NLD and Arakan League for Democracy, through the United Nationalities Alliance. However, its passage to parliament has been made more difficult through the failure to reach a merger with the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party or an alliance with the NLD – moves that could cost it dearly under Myanmar’s first-past-the-post voting system.


Founded: May 13, 2010
Based: Taunggyi, Shan State
Chair: U Sein Lwin
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 6
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 23

Overview: The Pao National Organization was informally allied with the USDP in 2010, with the military-backed party electing not to field candidates against it. This decision will also have been driven by the Pa-O’s geographic concentration and voters’ tendency to vote along ethnic lines, which create a winning formula in Myanmar’s first-past-the-post system. The party’s most high-profile MP, upper house representative, and Ruby Dragon owner Nay Win Tun, is not contesting again this year, but the PNO is likely to still do well for the same reasons it won seats in 2010.


Founded: June 2, 2010
Based: Lashio, Shan State
Chair: U Khun Htun Lu
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 6
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 11

Overview: While the election will almost certainly not go ahead in four townships controlled by the United Wa State Army – Myanmar’s largest non-state armed group – there are still several majority Wa townships under government control. In the 2010 election, the Wa Democratic Party beat out the Wa National Unity Party for these seats, but will face stronger competition this time around. At stake is not only seats in the Union Parliament, or Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, in Nay Pyi Taw, but also control of the Wa Self-administered Region government.


Founded: May 24, 2010
Based: Namhsam, Shan State
Senior members: U Aik Mone, U Htun Kyaw
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 6
Seats won 2012: Did not compete Candidates in 2015: 28

Overview: A reasonable performance in 2010 with six seats, the Ta’Arng (Palaung) National Party can, like most ethnic parties, expect to face additional competition on November 8. In some part the Palaung party’s success in 2010 was due to the USDP decision not to run candidates against it in some seats, making it hard to assess the strength of its support.


Founded: May 7, 2010
Based: Lashio, Shan State
Chair: U Htun Naing, U Zaw Htun
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 0
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 6

Overview: The Lashio-based party failed to win any seats in the 2010 election, with USDP candidates holding the two Kokang constituencies of Laukkai and Konkyan. That’s unlikely to change in 2015, even if the election even goes ahead in the conflict-hit region.


Founded: June 1, 2010
Based: Nyaungshwe, Shan State
Senior members: U Win Myint
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 4
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 5

Overview: Like the PNO, the Inn Nationalities Development Party benefits from the heavy geographic concentration of Inntha in the Inle Lake region. It will again be a formidable opponent in the lower house seat of Nyaungshwe, the two Nyaungshwe Shan State Hluttaw seats and the Inn ethnic affairs minister seat, all of which it won in 2010. However, infighting and dissatisfaction with the party leadership has led to the creation of a rival Inn party, which could dilute the votes.


Founded: June 9, 2015
Based: Nyaungshwe, Shan State
Senior members: U Thar Doe, U Tin Aung Kyaw
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates in 2015: 5

Overview: The new kid on the block in Inle Lake, the Inn National League will bet on a popular swing away from the Inn Nationalities Democratic Party and seek to hold off challenges from the USDP and the NLD. It’s a tall order, but the chances of returning an Intha representative are good given local discontent with Nay Pyi Taw.


Running the rule with 8 ethnic minority parties contesting seats in Rakhine State

Founded: March 6, 2014
Based: Sittwe, Rakhine State
Senior members: U Aye Maung, U Aye Thar Aung, U Tun Aung Kyaw
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates in 2015: 78

Overview: While undoubtedly the favourite to sweep Rakhine State, the Arakan National Party has endured a somewhat bumpy election preparation period. The selection of candidates caused widespread unrest within its ranks but these now appear to have been smoothed over. The party was formed from a 2013 merger deal between the Arakan League for Democracy, which won 11 seats in the 1990 election, and the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, which won 35 in 2010.


Founded: May 20, 2010
Based: South Okkalapa, Yangon
Chair: U Aye Kyaing
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 0
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 19

Overview: This Yangon-based Rakhine party competed unsuccessfully for seats in 2010, in part because it left many constituencies open for the RNDP so as not to split the vote. The Rakhine State National United Party lists the emergence of a federal union, an end to civil war and equality across the country as its major policy aims, together with “genuine” democracy and a “market-oriented economic system”.


Founded: July 15, 2015
Based: Sittwe, Rakhine State
Senior members: U Maung Maung Zaw, U Zaw Win Htun
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates in 2015: 16

Overview: Formed by ex-members of the Arakan League for Democracy who disagreed with the merger with the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, the Arakan Patriotic Party has pledged to focus on education as a means of uplifting their impoverished state. The party’s success will largely depend on its candidates and how much of a local following they command.


Founded: July 5, 2010
Based: Tarmwe, Yangon
Chair: U Zaw Win
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 0
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 4

Overview: One of Myanmar’s smallest officially recognised ethnicities, the Kaman are a Muslim group from Rakhine State apparently descended from warriors who fought alongside the Rakhine kings of Mrauk Oo. In recent years they have been the subject of communal violence, and the Ka Man National Development Party lists opposition to “violence and extremism” and education to “end unhelpful thinking in Myanmar society” as some of its major policies.


Founded: May 5, 2010
Based: Buthidaung, Rakhine State
Chair: U Aye Htun
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered  | Candidates in 2015: 4

Overview: Together with the Daingnet National Development Party, the Mro Nationality Party is now in with a shot in Buthidaung thanks to the election commission’s rulings on Muslim candidates. With little data on ethnicity, it’s hard to predict how this race could pan out.


Founded: February 9, 2015
Based: Mrauk Oo, Rakhine State
Senior members: U Maung Mya Htun, U Maung San Aung
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates in 2015: 4

Overview: Formed earlier this year, the Mro National Democracy Party is based in northeastern Rakhine State, with some presence over the border in southern Chin State. The party, which will contest seats in Mrauk Oo and Kyauktaw, will struggle in the face of competition from Mro, Rakhine and Bamar parties.


Founded: August 24, 2010
Based: Kyauktaw, Rakhine State
Chair: U San Thar Aung
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 0
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates in 2015: 7

Overview: After contesting unsuccessfully for the 2010 election, the Mro National Development Party has returned for another crack at a seat in parliament. Once again, its chances of winning appear slim.


Founded: August 27, 2015
Based: Buthidaung, Rakhine State
Senior members: U Aung Kyaw Zaw, U Htun Aye Maung
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates in 2015: 3

Overview: Is the DNPP the dark horse of Rakhine State’s election race? With only three candidates, the party’s hardly in the running to be a major political force. But the rejection of so many Muslim candidates in Buthidaung could open the door for the Daingnet, who are closely related to the Chakmas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh.


The Myanmar Times examines 6 parties that have made farmers, agriculture and land rights key issues

Founded: November 6, 2012
Based: Tarmwe, Yangon
Chair: U Kyaw Swar Soe
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 268

Overview: Together with the National Development Party, the Myanmar Farmer’s Development Party is probably the largest political organisation to burst onto the scene since the April 2012 by-elections. A headline-grabbing leader – who recently declared women “useless”, despite his party having one of the largest proportions of women candidates – and policies such as setting up a farmers’ bank have ensured a level of prominence. The recent move to win support from Buddhist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha could also boost support, particularly in conservative Magwe Region. Quite how the party has found the resources to support so many candidates remains a mystery, however.


Founded: December 9, 2014
Based: Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region
Senior members: U Aung Myo Khine, U Ko Ko Lwin
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 30

Overview: Seeking to represent both farmers and workers, the party’s policies on agriculture include restitution for those who have lost land and a shift away from granting large holdings to businesses and government officials to those “who are actually working the land”. In an interview with DVB, chair U Aung Myo Khine said the party would also seek to expand credit to farmers and provide technical assistance to increase their output.


Founded: August 4, 2015
Based: Bago, Bago Region
Senior members: U Min Thu, U Kyaw Myint
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 5

Overview: Registered just a month after the Confederate Farmers Party (see below), the Union Farmer Force Party is from the same ward, Nandawya, in Bago. Coincidence or not? Regardless, they will face the same challenges: breaking into what is likely to be a two-horse race in rural areas between the USDP and the NLD. And the UFFP is definitely playing catch-up – it was the 90th party, of 92, to gain registration ahead of the election.


Founded: July 2, 2015
Based: Bago, Bago Region
Senior members: U San Lin, U Tin Aye
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 6

Overview: For farmers, by farmers: That’s the message from the leadership of the Confederate Farmers Party, which is based in Bago. Naturally, its central policies are those aimed at improving the lives of farmers. According to Myanmar Now, the party supports itself by collecting funds gathered from its members.


Founded: May 28, 2010
Based: Kamaryut, Yangon
Senior members: U Htun Aung Kyaw, Daw Yi Yi San
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 0
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates 2015: 25

Overview: The Modern People Party has registered candidates mostly in rural areas, with a significant number in Ayeyarwady Region. In Kawhmu, MPP general secretary Daw Yi Yi San will run against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She has virtually zero chance of winning, however, and its other representatives are unlikely to fare much better. The party says it stands for a free-market capitalist economy, including boosting farmers’ livelihoods, as well as achieving national reconciliation.


Founded: June 1, 2010
Based: Mingalardon, Yangon
Chair: U Nay Myo Wai
Seats won 1990: Not registered Seats won 2010: 0
Seats won 2012: Did not compete Candidates 2015: 14

Overview: A self-confessed political junkie, PDP leader U Nay Myo Wai is one of the more colourful figures in Myanmar politics. He has been campaigning vigorously against land confiscations for years and in 2012 his activities drew the ire of Zaykabar, which filed a defamatiovvn suit after he accused the company of illegally taking land for an industrial zone. In more recent years U Nay Myo Wai has shifted his focus to anti-Muslim agitation, but restitution for land grabs remains a key policy of the party.


Following Daw Suu Kyi's visit to Kachin, we examine 8 parties fielding candidates in the conflict-hit state

Founded: August 2, 2010
Based: Myitkyina, Kachin State
Senior members: U Khat Htein Nan, Daw Dwe Bu
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 5
Seats won 2012: Did not contest | Candidates 2015: 8

Overview: The UDPKS was one of a handful of ethnic parties that allied with the Union Solidarity and Development Party in the 2010 election. This was a mixed blessing: While it meant an easier shot at winning seats, it damaged the party’s legitimacy in the eyes of most ethnic Kachin. Nevertheless, Daw Dwe Bu in particular has been one of the most impressive parliamentary performers and has a good chance to hold on to the lower house seat of Injanyang.


Founded: December 10, 2013
Based: Myitkyina, Kachin State
Senior member: Manam Tu Jar
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 55

Overview: Could it be third time lucky for Manam Tu Jar? In 2010 the former Kachin Independence Organisation vice chair was blocked from forming a party by the election commission, while in 2012 he registered as an independent but the vote was cancelled due to conflict with the KIO. This time around his party has fielded a large slate of candidates but faces a tough fight to emerge as the preeminent ethnic Kachin party.


Founded: December 11, 2013
Based: Myitkina, Kachin State
Senior members: U Si Si Naw Gyar, U Aung La
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 37

Overview: The Kachin National Congress for Democracy is the third major Kachin party contesting the election, and registered a day after the Kachin State Democracy Party. The breakdown in merger talks between the Kachin parties will complicate the election picture for all, as there is significant overlap across the state’s 68 constituencies.


Founded: January 13, 2014
Based: Sanchaung, Yangon
Leader: U Awng Hkam
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 32

Overview: Another of the new faces in Kachin State, the Kachin Democratic Party is led by U Awng Kham, the son of Kachin politician Gumgrawng Zau Ing, who in 1990 headed the Kachin State National Congress for Democracy. U Awng Kham will be expecting to win more than the three seats that his father claimed in that election, but like other Kachin State parties will face stiff competition.


Founded: May 10, 2012
Based: Chan Mya Tharsi, Mandalay
Senior members: U Sai Htay Aung, U Sai Ohn Ohn
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 54

Overview: The Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party represents the Red Shan, or Shan-ni, who are thought to number 300,000 and live in northern Sagaing Region and Kachin State. Until now the Red Shan have had little political representation, but the TNDP will be hoping to pick up the Shan ethnic affairs minister positions in Sagaing Region and Kachin State at a minimum.


Founded: December 17, 2013
Based: Myitkina, Kachin State
Senior members: U Arki Dawu
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 28

Overview: Despite having a population estimated at 600,000 in Myanmar, the Lisu were not represented in 2010. However, the Lisu people are spread widely throughout the country and as a result the Lisu National Development Party is fielding candidates across a range of states and regions, including Kachin, Shan, Kayah and Mandalay.


Founded: June 29, 2015
Based: Waingmaw, Kachin State
Senior members: U Daung Kham, U Dewi
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 21

Overview: The Lhaovo, also known as the Maru, are one of the sub-groups of the Kachin and mostly reside in the east of the state, in Waingmaw, Chipwe and Tsawlaw townships. Estimates for the group’s population vary, but could be as high as 120,000, not counting those living across the border in China. The Lhaovo went unrepresented in the 2010 election but that will change this year, with the LNUDP fielding several candidates.


Founded: May 20, 2015
Based: Maha Aung Myay, Mandalay
Senior members: U Saw Win Tun
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 17

Overview: Formed by ex-members of the TNDP, the Shan-ni & Northern Shan Ethnics Solidarity Party is led by U Saw Win Tun, whose father was a prominent Red Shan politician who was charged with treason for proposing a “Red Shan State” across northern Myanmar. U Saw Win Tun’s failed run for an upper house seat with the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party will stand him in good stead for a tilt at office this year.


This week, we examine ethnic Kayin parties fielding candidates in Kayin State and elsewhere

Founded: May 12, 2010
Based: Shwe Pyi Thar, Yangon
Senior members: U Tun Aung Myint, U Saw Sai Wa
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 6
Seats won 2012: 0 | Candidates 2015: 122

Overview: By far the largest ethnic Kayin party by number of candidates, the Kayin People’s Party will field representatives across large parts of the country, including Yangon, Bago, Tanintharyi and Ayeyarwady regions, and Kayin, Mon and Kayah states. It won just six seats in 2010 from more than 40 candidates, but will hope to pick up at least several dozen, along with some of the prized Kayin ethnic affairs minister slots.


Founded: June 4, 2010
Based: Hpa-an, Kayin State
Senior members: U Saw Thein Aung, U Saw Tin Hlaing
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 9
Seats won 2012: 0 | Candidates 2015: 46

Overview: The Phlone-Sqaw Democratic Party was the most successful ethnic Kayin party in 2010, but will struggle to hold that mantle this year given the additional competition and its focus mostly on Kayin and Mon states. Nevertheless, the party is confident of winning in up to a dozen townships in the state, although it remains weak in Thandaung and Papun.


Founded: August 19, 2010
Based: Hpa-an, Kayin State
Senior members: U Saw Thar Htoo Kyaw, U Saw Than Mya
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 2
Seats won 2012: 0 | Candidates 2015: 13

Overview: The KSDDP popped up relatively late in the 2010 campaign, getting its papers approved just before the registration deadline, and managed to nab two seats in the vote. This year it is fielding a small slate of candidates, yet will be hopeful of holding on to the seats that it won five years ago. Its eye-catching logo, featuring iconic Mt Zwegabin, could help pull in some votes.


Founded: February 1, 2012
Based: Hpa-an, Kayin State
Senior members: U Saw Kyaw Than Oo
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: 0 | Candidates 2015: 13

Overview: The KDP was formed in late 2011 by U Saw Kyaw Than Oo, after he quit as leader of the Phlone-Sqaw Democratic Party leader. Without any parliamentary representatives, it has struggled to generate much of a profile in the intervening years, but will hope to gain at least a few seats in this year’s vote.


Founded: June 17, 2015
Based: Hpa-an, Kayin State
Senior members: U Win Myint Kyaw, U Myat Soe
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 6

Overview: The last of the ethnic Kayin parties to register for the election, the KUDP is also fielding the lowest number of candidates, with six. Like the KNP, it is only contesting seats in Kayin State.


Founded: October 24, 2014
Based: Insein township, Yangon
Senior members: Mahn Kyaw Nyein, Mahn Myint Soe
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 16

Overview: Despite being based in Yangon, the Karen National Party will focus only on constituencies in Kayin State. The relaxation of naming rules by the UEC prior to the 2012 by-elections enabled the KNP to use the term “Karen”, rather than the government-approved term “Kayin”, in its name.


The Myanmar Times examines the prospects of 6 parties competing in Chin State

Founded: May 27, 2010
Based: Hlaing, Yangon
Senior members: Pu Zo Zam
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 9
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates 2015: 57

Overview: Better known as the Chin National Party, the CNDP is headed by Pu Zo Zam, who was a cartoonist and humanitarian worker before entering politics. While the party won fewer seats than the Chin Progressive Party in the 2010 election, it has registered far more candidates this time around and is seeking to win seats among Chin communities outside the state, particularly the key Chin ethnic affairs minister positions in Magwe and Sagaing regions and Rakhine State. Performed well in Tiddim, Tlanglang and Hakha in 2010.


Founded: June 1, 2010
Based: Kyauktada, Yangon
Senior members: Pu No Than Kap, Salai Say Htoo
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 12
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates 2015: 22

Overview: Taking a slow and steady approach to build on its successes in 2010, the CPP is fielding a lower-than-expected number of candidates. It seems to have recruited well, however, attracting people like Cheery Zahau, a prominent Chin activist, to stand as candidates. In 2010 the party polled fairly evenly across the state but did particularly well in both Falam and Paletwa, winning all the Chin State Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw seats.


Founded: July 15, 2014
Based: North Dagon, Yangon
Senior members: Pu Ngai Sak
Seats won 1990: 3 (as CNLD) | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 29

Overview: The Chin League for Democracy was established last year by a founder of the Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD), which won three seats in 1990. It has registered an impressive array of candidates and is expected to push the CPP and the CNDP hard on election day. With additional competition from the NLD, however, more than 10 seats would be a good result.


Founded: June 16, 2010
Based: Matupi township, Chin State
Senior members: Pu Hipa, Pu Van Cing
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 1
Seats won 2012: Did not compete | Candidates 2015: 7

Overview: The ENDP was one of three parties – with the 88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar) and the Lahu National Development Party – that won just a solitary seat in the 2010 election, with Pu Van Cing beating the CPP to win Matupi 2. Fielding a relatively small number of candidates, the ENDP will be hopeful of winning at least three or four seats.


Founded: June 5, 2012
Based: Hlaing, Yangon
Senior members: Salai Hangyi, Salai Aung Min Hlaing
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 8

Overview: Despite representing Asho Chin, the party will mainly contest seats in nearby Magwe Region and Rakhine State. The Asho Chin are one of 53 Chin “tribes” and, unlike some of its rivals which have sought to appeal to all Chin ethnics, the party’s support is likely to be limited to this segment of the Chin population.


Founded: August 17, 2012
Based: Kyauktada, Yangon
Senior members: Pu Chin Sian Thang
Seats won 1990: 2 | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 12

Overview: Known as the Zomi National Congress in 1990, the Zomi Congress for Democracy reregistered three years ago and is running in 12 seats. Its leader, Pu Chin Sian Thang, won one of the party’s two seats in 1990 and, at 77, is thought to be the oldest candidate in this year’s vote. The NLD has left the Pyithu Hluttaw seat of Tiddim open for him under an agreement to not run candidates against allied ethnic representatives from the 1990 vote.


Major parties fielding candidates in Mon State, Tanintharyi Region and Kayah State

Founded: May 24, 2010
Based: Mawlamyine, Mon State
Senior members: Min Ngwe Soe, Banyar Aung Moe
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 16
Seats won 2012: 0 | Candidates 2015: 35

Overview: The All Mon Regions Democracy Party will struggle to hold on to the gains it made in 2010, with additional competition looming on a number of fronts. First is the rival Mon party, the MNP, to which some AMRDP members defected in 2014. But the NLD will also pose a significant threat, as seen in the 2012 by-elections when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party easily won the seat of Mawlamyine. In rural areas, however, the ethnic Mon parties are likely to fare better, and religion could play a significant role in the result.


Founded: July 10, 2012
Based: Mawlamyine, Mon State
Senior members: U Naing Ngwe Thein
Seats won 1990: 5 (as Mon National Democratic Front)| Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 55

Overview: The MNP competed in the 1990 election as the Mon National Democratic Front, winning five seats. Following the 2012 by-elections it re-registered as the Mon Democracy Party and opened merger negotiations with the All Mon Regions Democracy Party. The MNP was supposed to be the new joint vehicle for the two parties, but some AMRDP members refused to join. Despite being the newcomer, the MNP appears the stronger of the two, and is fielding significantly more candidates in the election.


Founded: June 16, 2015
Based: Mawlamyine, Mon State
Senior members: U Soe Myint
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered 
Seats won 2012: Not registered  | Candidates 2015: 4

Overview: When state media published a notice earlier this year announcing the formation of the 88 Generation Democracy Party, many wondered whether Min Ko Naing and co had taken the plunge into parliamentary politics. The fine print, however, revealed that the party was registered in the Mon capital Mawlamyine. In its broadcast on state media, the party outlined policies to make education and healthcare free, to preserve cultural heritage and promote ethnic languages, and to provide more loans to farmers.


Founded: December 17, 2013
Based: Dawei, Tanintharyi Region
Senior members: U Aye Min
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 14

Overview: The sole party based in Tanintharyi Region, the Dawei Nationalities Party was born out of the civil society movement against the planned deepsea port and special economic zone near the Tanintharyi Region capital. It was active prior to the 2014 census advocating for Tanintharyi residents to list their ethnicity as Dawei rather than Bamar, as they are often described. While a sub-group of the Bamar, Daweians speak a distinctive dialect.


Founded: July 15, 2015
Based: Mawlamyine, Mon State
Senior members: Mi Than Shin
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 4

Overview: What’s in a name? A lot, if you ask Mi Than Shin, the founder of the Women Party (Mon). She waged a months-long battle with the Union Election Commission to register a Women Party, but was repeatedly told the name was “too general”. Facing the likelihood of having registration blocked completely, she opted to put “(Mon)” after the name. Despite having national – and international – ambitions, the party is fielding only four candidates but has certainly attracted more than its share of media coverage.


Founded: May 20, 2010
Based: Pekon, Shan State
Senior members: U Khu Yu Jin
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: 2
Seats won 2012: Did not contest | Candidates 2015: 13

Overview: The Kayan National Party was founded by members of the Democratic Organisation for Kayan National Unity, which won two seats in the 1990 election. It repeated the result in 2010, winning two seats in the Shan State Hluttaw. But its focus is very much on Kayah State – one of its policies is for Pekon township in southern Shan State, where many ethnic Kayan live, to be incorporated into Kayah.


Founded: August 1, 2013
Based: Loikaw, Kayah State
Senior members: U Poe Reh, U Solomon
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 26

Overview: The All Nationals’ Democracy Party Kayah State, or AND, takes its name from the ambition of party leaders to represent all ethnicities in Kayah State. Party leaders say they want to shake off the state’s status as a backwater by breaking the Union Solidarity and Development Party’s grip on the state parliament and putting more money into development projects, particularly infrastructure.


Founded: August 9, 2013
Based: Loikaw, Kayah State
Senior members: Saw Daniel
Seats won 1990: Not registered | Seats won 2010: Not registered
Seats won 2012: Not registered | Candidates 2015: 26

Overview: Formed barely one week after the AND, the Kayah Unity Democracy Party is contesting the same number of seats. In many of those it will compete against the AND, after talks of a merger or alliance failed to bear fruit. In a recent interview with DVB, party chair Saw Daniel said the KUDP is campaigning with the slogan “Implement hope for social development through reforms”.


Full Party List

Here they are: all 91 parties contesting November's election, according to the Union Election Commission's official party list. We've also included links to each party's official profile on the UEC website (Myanmar-language only), along with direct jumps above to our own entries – with more profiles to come in our Election Supplements each week until November 8.

1.            88 Generation Democracy Party | UEC Profile

2.            Akha National Development Party | UEC Profile 

3.            All Mon Regions Democracy Party | UEC Profile

4.            All Nationals' Democracy Party Kayah State | UEC Profile

5.            Arakan National Party | UEC Profile

6.            Arakan Patriot Party | UEC Profile

7.            Asho Chin National Party | UEC Profile

8.            Bamar People’s Party | UEC Profile

9.            Chin League for Democracy | UEC Profile

10.          Chin National Democracy Party | UEC Profile

11.          Chin Progressive Party | UEC Profile

12.          Confederate Farmers Party (CFP) | UEC Profile

13.          Daingnet National Development Party (DNDP) | UEC Profile

14.          Danu National Democracy Party | UEC Profile

15.          Danu National Organization Party | UEC Profile

16.          Dawei Nationalities Party | UEC Profile

17.          Democracy and Human Rights Party | UEC Profile

18.          Democracy and Peace Party | UEC Profile

19.          Democratic Party (Myanmar) | UEC Profile

20.          Democratic Party for a New Society | UEC Profile

21.          Democracy Party For Myanmar New Society | UEC Profile

22.          Eastern Shan State Development Democratic Party | UEC Profile

23.          Ethnic National Development Party (ENDP) | UEC Profile

24.          Federal Union Party | UEC Profile

25.          Guiding Star Party | UEC Profile

26.          Inn National Development Party | UEC Profile

27.          Inn National League | UEC Profile

28.          Kachin Democratic Party | UEC Profile

29.          Kachin State Democracy Party | UEC Profile

30.          Ka Man National Development Party | UEC Profile

31.          Karen National Party | UEC Profile

32.          Kayah Unity Democracy Party (KUDP) | UEC Profile

33.          Kayan National Party | UEC Profile

34.          Kayin Democratic Party | UEC Profile

35.          Kayin People’s Party (KPP) | UEC Profile

36.          Kayin State Democracy and Development Party (KSDDP) | UEC Profile

37.          Kayin Unity Democratic Party (KUDP) | UEC Profile

38.          Kha Me National Development Party | UEC Profile

39.          Khumi (Khami) National Party | UEC Profile

40.          Kokang Democracy and Unity Party | UEC Profile

41.          La Hu National Development Party | UEC Profile

42.          Lhaovo National Unity and Development Party (LNUDP) | UEC Profile

43.          Lisu National Development Party (LNDP) | UEC Profile

44.          Modern People Party | UEC Profile

45.          Mon National Party | UEC Profile

46.          Mro Nationality Party | UEC Profile

47.          Mro National Democracy Party (MNDP) | UEC Profile

48.          Mro National Development Party | UEC Profile

49.          Myanmar Farmer’s Development Party | UEC Profile

50.          Myanmar National Congress | UEC Profile

51.          National Democratic Force (NDF) | UEC Profile

52.          National Democratic Party for Development (NDPD) | UEC Profile

53.          National Development Party | UEC Profile

54.          National Development and Peace Party (NDPP) | UEC Profile

55.          National League for Democracy (NLD) | UEC Profile

56.          National Political Alliance League | UEC Profile

57.          National Prosperity Party | UEC Profile

58.          National Unity Party (NUP) | UEC Profile

59.          National Unity Congress Party | UEC Profile

60.          Negotiation, Stability and Peace Party (NSPP) | UEC Profile

61.          New Era Union Party | UEC Profile

62.          New National Democracy Party | UEC Profile

63.          New Society Party | UEC Profile

64.          Pao National Organization (PNO) | UEC Profile

65.          Peace for Diversity Party | UEC Profile

66.          People Democracy Party | UEC Profile

67.          People’s Party of Myanmar Farmers and Workers | UEC Profile

68.          Phlone-Sqaw Democratic Party | UEC Profile

69.          Public Contribute Students Democracy Party | UEC Profile

70.          Rakhine State National United Party | UEC Profile

71.          Shan Nationalities Democratic Party | UEC Profile

72.          Shan Nationalities League for Democracy | UEC Profile

73.          Shan State Kokang Democratic Party | UEC Profile

74.          Shan-ni & Northern Shan Ethnics Solidarity Party (SNSP) | UEC Profile

75.          Ta-Arng (Palaung) National Party | UEC Profile

76.          Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party (TNDP) | UEC Profile

77.          The 88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar) | UEC Profile

78.          The Kachin National Congress for Democracy | UEC Profile

79.          The Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics | UEC Profile

80.          Union Democratic Party | UEC Profile

81.          Union Farmer Force Party | UEC Profile

82.          Union Pa.O National Organization | UEC Profile

83.          Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) | UEC Profile

84.          United Democratic Party (UDP) | UEC Profile

85.          Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State (UDPKS) | UEC Profile

86.          Wa Democratic Party | UEC Profile

87.          Wa National Unity Party | UEC Profile

88.          Women Party (Mon) | UEC Profile

89.          Wun Thar Nu Democratic Party | UEC Profile

90.          Zo Nation Region Development | UEC Profile

91.          Zomi Congress for Democracy | UEC Profile

Pyithu Hluttaw Results Final

Amyotha Hluttaw Results Final

See results compared to 2010 and 2012 elections