Sai Leik, the spokesperson for the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), today urged voters going to the polls in by-elections on Saturday to support “their local party” in Shan State.
Speaking to Shan Herald on Thursday, the final day for campaigning, Sai Leik said, “From now on, our representative should be a citizen of Shan State and should be a person who is working on behalf of our nationality.”
He added that people in Mong Hsu, Mong Nong and Kehsi townships had lost their right to vote during the 2015 general election when polls were cancelled due to security concerns.
“That’s why this time they must come out and exercise their right to vote. We do not want our people to lose their rights,” he said.
Nicknamed the Tiger Head Party, the SNLD won a total of 40 seats in the 2015 election. For this by-election, it is running candidates to contest all seats in Mong Hsu, Mong Nong, Kehsi and Kengtung townships.
Its ethnic rival, the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), known as the White Tiger Party, will also contest all vacant seats in those same areas.
Apart from the two Shan-based parties, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which holds a majority of seats in the Shan State Assembly, has also been rallying for its candidates in the final stages of the campaign in Shan State, as have the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and other ethnic parties such as the Wa National Unity Party (WNUP).
By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)