The Union Solidarity and Development Party’s (USDP) candidate for a vacant Lower House seat in Kanpetlet Township acknowledged his defeat in Saturday’s by-election, which was won by the National League for Democracy (NLD).
“I’m satisfied with the election result because the votes came from the people. This by-election was fair,” the candidate, Mana Naing, said of the November 3 race.
In addition to the NLD and USDP, the Chin National Democratic Party (CNDP) and Chin Progressive Party (CPP) competed to represent Kanpetlet. Mana Naing lost to the NLD’s candidate U Nyunt Win by 556 votes.
Mana Naing attributed his defeat to the widely held perception of the USDP as an ethnic Bamar party and a proxy of the Burma Army.
“They think our party has come from the Tatmadaw. They also accuse our party of being a Bamar party. […] I am standing as a Chin, not a Bamar,” Mana Naing said of the voters he spoke to. He alleged that candidates from “rival parties” had “largely talked nonsense about our party” and that it had affected the USDP’s image.
U Nyunt Win earned 3,083 votes while Mana Naing got 2,527 votes. The CNDP candidate Kethang Lung received 2,445 votes and the CPP’s Mana Shin got 242 votes in Saturday’s by-election in Kanpetlet, Chin State.