YANGON: Myanmar's Union Election Commission said Sunday it is canceling by-elections that were scheduled for later this year to fill 35 empty parliamentary seats.
Commission chairman Tin Aye made the surprise announcement at a media briefing in Yangon.
Reasons he gave included preparations for the 2015 election, Myanmar's duties holding the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and an election law that political parties field at least 3 candidates or cease to exist, a requirement he described as burdensome for the country's 67 political parties.
The commission had announced in March that by-elections would be held later this year to fill more than 30 seats vacated for various reasons.
Myanmar's legislature has 224 members in the upper house and 440 members in the lower house; 25 percent of each house is occupied by military appointees.