The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

Home Analysis USDP and NUP Square Up for 132 Seats

USDP and NUP Square Up for 132 Seats

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The junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) will be challenged by only the former ruling socialist party, the National Unity Party (NUP), for 132 seats in both houses of parliament in Sunday's general election.

The two parties—the “old guard” NUP and the newly formed USDP which is headed by Prime Minister Thein Sein—will face-off in both Burman-dominated areas and ethnic states. [See chart below for breakdown of USDP-NUP contested seats for both the Pyithu Hluttaw (People's Assembly) and Amyotha Hluttaw (Nationalities Assembly). The statistical data was gathered from various local Burmese journals.]

Candidates elected on Sunday for the People's Assembly, or Lower House, will comprise 330 out of the 440 seats in the house; the remaining 110 seats will be reserved for military-appointed representatives. The Nationalities Assembly will be made up of 168 elected candidates with the military appointing their representatives for the remaining 56 seats in the 224-seat house.

Only candidates from the USDP and NUP will contest 83 constituencies for the Pyithu Hluttaw, spread over 13 states and divisions, with the notable exception of Rangoon Division where pro-democracy parties have more overt support.

Voters in Sagaing Division in upper Burma will have no other choice than a USDP or NUP candidate in 23 out of the 37 constituencies for the Pyithu Hluttaw. The second- and third-highest   number of constituencies that involve only the two military-aligned parties are Irrawaddy and Mandalay divisions where the USDP and NUP will contest 11 and nine constituencies respectively.

For the Amyotha Hluttaw, the parties will enjoy a two-horse race in 49 constituencies spanning 11 states and divisions, with the notable exceptions being Chin and Shan states and Rangoon Division. 

The Amyotha Hluttaw comprises an equal share of seats—12—for each  state and division in the country. The USDP and NUP will be the only parties contesting 10 of the seats in Karenni (Kayah) State, which is considered the weakest region for ethnic parties. 

The USDP and the NUP will be the only names on the ballot for the Nationalities Assembly in several constituencies in Sagaing, Tenasserim and Pegu divisions. Voters in seven constituencies of Sagaing will have no other choice than the USDP or NUP candidates while voters in six constituencies in Tenasserim and Pegu divisions will have also be forced to choose between the two main parties or staying away from the polls altogether.

Of the 168 seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw, 29 percent will be contested by just the two military-aligned parties. In the Pyithu Hluttaw, 25 percent of the seats will be decided in the two-horse race.

NUP/USDP-Only Contested Constituencies

NO States and Divisions Pyithu Hluttaw (People's Assembly) Amyotha Hluttaw (Nationalities Assembly)
1 Kachin 6 seats 2 seats
2 Karenni (Kayah) 6 seats 10seats
3 Karen 2 seats 3 seats
4 Chin 1 seats 0seats
5 Sagaing 23 seats 7 seats
6 Tenasserim 7 seats 6 seats
7 Pegu 4 seats 6 seats
8 Magwe 5 seats 4 seats
9 Mandalay 9 seats 2 seats
10 Mon 3 seats 3 seats
11 Arakan 3 seats 1 seats
12 Rangoon 0 seats 0 seats
13 Shan 3 seats 0seats
14 Irrawaddy 11 seats 5 seats
Total 83 seats 49 seats


Nyan_win80"Once her [Aung San Suu Kyi's] sentence expires in November, and that notion is not disputed, it is our understanding that she will have served her sentence."
—Nyan Win, the foreign minister of Burma


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