Htoe Myar — Ten candidates who ran in the 2015 election in Karenni State have yet to submit their expenses related paperwork to the Loikaw District election office, according to district election officer, U Nyi Nyi Min.
“A total of 133 candidates registered for the election. Among them, only 123 candidates submitted their expenses. Ten candidates still have not submitted” says U Nyi Nyi Min.
U Nyi Nyi says that most of the candidates who submitted their expenses on time are from the winning National League for Democracy or other prominent parties. Most of the ten candidates who have not submitted their expenses are from smaller local parties.
“Every [candidate] from the winning party has submitted them. Those from the USDP have experience so all of them submitted them. As for the rest, some [candidates] from the local areas are left. We have informed everyone to submit even before the election was held. Some have intentionally neglected to submit,” he said.
Legally candidates who ran in the election have to submit their expenses whether they have won or lost in the election.
Lower House candidates who represented the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) and the All Nationalities Democracy Party (ANDP) in Demoso Township respectively and a candidate from the National Development Party that ran in Hpruso Township have failed to submit the expenses.
An Upper House candidate from the SNLD who ran in Constituency No 1 and another Upper House candidate from the ANDP who ran in Constituency No 7 have also failed to submit the expenses.
Among the state parliament candidates, an SNLD candidate and a Kayan National Party’s candidate from Demoso Township’s Constituency No 1, two Kayah National Race Democracy Party (KNRDP)’s candidates from Shadaw Township’s Constituency No 1 and 2 and a SNLD candidate from Shadaw Township’s Constituency No 2 have also not submitted their expenses paperwork.
U Shae Pe from the ANDP said some candidates did not submit their expenses because only the candidates that received one-eighth of the vote total will receive their deposits back.
“We don’t know his difficulty in detail. We don’t know whether those that submitted their expenses will get their deposits back. But a letter has been issued which claims that those that fail to submit the expenses will be regarded as corrupt candidates. So, some of them realized [the reason] and submitted their expenses. But, some don’t plan to run in the election in 2020 so they won’t submit their expenses,” he said.
U Shae Pe added that he could not do anything to persuade these candidates even though they are from his party as they have made their own decisions.
The Loikaw District Election Officer said the candidates had to submit their expenses within 30 days after election results have been announced. Those that failed to submit them will be sent to the headquarters, which will then announce them as unqualified candidates.
“We will submit the list of these people to the headquarters and tell it to consider them unqualified candidates. They will take a look at it and the government will announce their names on either the TV or newspaper as unqualified candidates,” he said.
The candidates who have failed to submit their expenses will lose their chance in running in next round of by-elections and the next elections after they have been announced as unqualified candidates.