A total of 43 electoral candidates have registered to contest for seven ethnic affairs ministerial posts in Shan State in November.
The posts are for ministers of Akha, Bamar, Intha, Kachin, Kayan, Lahu and Lisu affairs. Other major ethnic groups in the state, including the Ta’ang, Kokang, Wa, Pa-O and Danu have special administration areas and are not designated ethnic affairs ministers.
“The Shan State election commission will check the applications for these posts,” chair of Shan State’s election commission Htin Kyaw told SHAN.
In accordance with the law, the candidates must be at least 25 years old, nationals of Burma, and their parents must also be Burmese nationals. They also are required to have lived in Burma for 10 consecutive years before the election to be qualified to run for the ministerial position.
Taunggyi resident Nyi Moe said he wasn’t clear what the ethnic affairs ministers do, because there is no concrete description of duties for the posts, but noted that they seem to work for regional development.
“The respective ethnic affairs ministers haven’t done an extraordinary job over the last five years,” he told SHAN.
While little is known about the potential candidates, the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy will reportedly put forward a candidate for the Bamar ethnic affairs minister post.
More than 1,000 electoral candidates have registered with the election commission to run for various parliamentary seats in Shan State in the 2020 election.
According to Shan State Election Commission, there are a total of 3.5 million voters in Shan State.