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First Municipal Elections in 60 years held in Myanmar

The ballot for the YCDC was the first chance for the residents of Yangon, the biggest city of Myanmar, to vote under the country’s quasi-civilian government which replaced outright military rule in 2011.

Dec 29, 2014 19:08 IST
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First Municipal Elections in 60 years were held in Myanmar on 27 December 2014 for electing the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

The ballot for the YCDC was the first chance for the residents of Yangon, the biggest city of Myanmar, to vote under the country’s quasi-civilian government which replaced outright military rule in 2011.

However, the voters voted under severe voting restrictions and limited power of the councilors being elected.

Voting was limited to one person per household and the age of the candidates were narrowly prescribed. Further there was a ban on political parties taking part in the campaign.

As a result, only 4 lakh of the Yangon’s several million residents were eligible to vote for the elections.

Also only 300 candidates, among them businessmen, retired civil servants and activists, are competing for 115 positions on the committee.  Though, the top posts will remain largely appointed.

Comment

Elections in Yangon city on were closely watched as a test of the country's democratic credentials ahead of a landmark nationwide poll scheduled for November 2015.
It was also a rare opportunity to have a say over the future of the country's commercial hub, where residents complain about runaway construction and soaring rents, worsening traffic, poor sanitation and weak pollution control.

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