September 7, 2014 / 6:13 AM / in 3 years

Myanmar cancels by-elections

YANGON September 7 (Reuters) - Myanmar has called off an election scheduled for the end of this year to fill 35 vacated seats in parliament, the Union Election Commission announced on Sunday.

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi gives a speech as she meets with local authors and publishers at a restaurant in Yangon August 25, 2014. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Election Commission Chairman Tin Aye said that the election would be canceled because the commission did not have enough time to prepare and because the results would not have any political significance.

Nyan Win, a senior official and Central Executive Committee of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), told Reuters that his party agreed with the decision.

“As we’d said earlier, the by-elections wouldn’t result in any significant changes. It would just be a waste of time and money,” Nyan Win said. “Now, we will prepare to do our best in the 2015 general elections,” he said.

The Election Commission had earlier said that a date would be announced soon for holding the by-elections for the open seats, vacated by lawmakers who had resigned to take other positions or who had passed away.

The decision did not come as a surprise. There have been rumors for months that the by-elections would not he held this year.

The NLD swept to a landslide victory in the first by-elections held on April 1, 2012, taking 43 out of 44 open seats and making NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi a member of the Lower House.

Editing by Matt Driskill

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