The National League for Democracy (NLD) will begin selecting parliamentary candidates for the 2020 general elections this week.
In previous elections, NLD candidates were selected directly by the central executive committee. A new selection process will democratise decision making to an extent but still leave final say to the party’s central executive committee.
Townships will choose five candidates from among their NLD supporters, NLD vice chairman Zaw Myint Maung said during a press conference streamed online from Nap Pyi Taw on May 31.
Once five supporters are chosen in a given constituency, the township executive or campaign committee will select two of them as potential parliamentary candidates.
These two candidates will be forwarded to state and regional NLD officials who will then review and rank the candidates as first and second choices.
The ranked candidates will then be sent to the NLD party central executive committee before the end of the month, Zaw Myint Maung said.
The central executive committee will then select a candidate among the two to represent the party in the general election.
NLD Nay Pyi Taw district chairman Min Thu confirmed that instructions were sent to township offices on Tuesday.
It is unclear at this point if the central executive committee will be able to veto the selections it receives, demand new candidates from its constituency or choose candidates from elsewhere.
Union Election Commission spokesperson Myint Naing confirmed via the state-run Myanmar Radio and Television Channel on May 4 that general elections will be held as planned this year, despite the Covid-19 outbreak.
The president’s office confirmed in an online press conference on May 1 that the elections will take place in November, though the date has not been set.
The country’s previous general elections, in 2010 and 2015, were also held in November.