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Burmese Election Commission warns parties led by two brothers

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Two political parties: the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics and 88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar), which are led by two brothers, could be dissolved, according to the Union Election Commission.

Aye Lwin of the Myanmar Federation of National Politics. The warning, released on November 23, said the two parties, led by brothers Aye Lwin and Ye Tun respectively, violated 11 regulations including selling lucky draws, gambling, collecting donations in restricted market areas without permits, insulting government employees and distributing uncensored videos.
The alleged violations occurred from July 2 to November 14 in nine townships in Rangoon, Magway, Mandalay and Irrawaddy regions, according to the EU.

Officials from the two parties said that they would submit rebuttals to the UEC on December 20.  

Aye Lwin, the chairman of the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics (UMFNP), told Mizzima that it did not violate the political registration law.
“We did not violate laws. Section 15 (a) of the political party registration law said we can collect party admission fees and party monthly fees and the taxes to be paid on money shall be exempted,” Aye Lwin said.

In July, the East District Municipal Committee was set to file cases against 10 central committee members from the two parties for illegally collecting party funds to contest in the general elections. Later, the committee dropped the charges against the parties in order to negotiate.

Regarding the allegation of distributing uncensored videos, the EC said that on September 29, 2010, UMFNP General Secretary Htay Aung distributed uncensored VCDs of the opening office ceremony of the Kawhmu Township office and party chairman Aye Lwin’s speech for party funds.

Regarding selling lucky draws, the EC alleged that on September 30, 2010, Htay Hlaing and Kyi Khaing of the UMFNP sold 35 lucky draw tickets at the price of 1,000 (about U.S. $1.30) kyat per ticket at Ward No. 3 in Mayangon Township in Rangoon. Prizes included two mobile phones, three digital cameras and four 21-inch televisions. The commission said it was in violation of the Gambling Act.

Regarding the charge against the 88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar) group, the EU said that the party and the Ward Administration chief were involved in a dispute over the failure to register overnight guests. Later another dispute arouse over toll fees on the Rangoon-Mandalay Road operated by the Ministry of Construction that led to a conflict with government employees.

In addition, on July 19 at a ceremony to mark Martyrs’ Day Aye Lwin and Ye Tun allegedly took cameras into areas where they were not permitted and a dispute arouse with security officers.

Earlier, the two political parties were known as pro junta parties. The parties ran for 85 parliamentary seats in the 2010 general election in Sagaing, Magway, Mandalay, Rangoon, Pegu, and Irrawaddy regions and in Chin State. They won one parliamentary seat in Hlaing Tharya Township constituency in the Rangoon Region Assembly.

Under the former junta, Aye Lwin and Ye Tun publicly criticized opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Western sanctions against Burma. The two parties have a total of more than 100,000 members. The party admission fee is 500 kyat and the monthly fee is 100 kyat.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 December 2011 22:16 )  

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