Despite Myanmar’s growing coronavirus caseload and continuing unrest in some areas, early voting began Thursday for the November 8 general election, which involves nearly 100 political parties and contests for the upper and lower houses of the national, state and regional governments.
Early voters include citizens unable to return to their constituencies because of COVID-19 restrictions, and voters older than 60 in townships under stay-at-home orders, according to the Union Election Commission (UEC). A total of 1,171 seats are being contested,
according to the Carter Center, which counts participation by over 6,900 candidates from 92 political parties and independent campaigns.
State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, and President Win Myint were among the early voters in Naypyitaw, the nation’s capital. The election is largely a referendum on Suu Kyi’s leadership and achievements in the face of an economic crisis triggered by COVID-19.