YANGON -- One of five lawmakers from Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority who have sat in the country's national and regional parliaments since 2010 has been barred from contesting the upcoming Nov. 8 national election.
Shwe Maung, speaking to the Nikkei Asian Review on Sunday, said he had received an official notice from the government's election commission that he was not eligible to run in the election - even though he holds a seat in national parliament. He said he would appeal the decision take by the district election sub-commission in Maungdaw, a Rohingya-majority district in northern Rakhine state, bordering Bangladesh.
"I have seven days to appeal and perhaps tomorrow I will make the appeal at the Rakhine state regional electoral commission," said Shwe Maung, who was elected in 2010 as a lawmaker in Myanmar's lower house, representing the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the military-backed ruling party that recently saw the purge of its erstwhile leader, Shwe Mann, the current speaker of parliament.
Shwe Maung said that the local election commission, which is part of the national Union Election Commission, said he was deemed ineligible to contest the election as his parents were not citizens of Myanmar.
Shwe Maung disputes this, saying that both his parents received national identity cards in 1952, four years after the country, then known as Burma, won its independence from Britain.