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Karen party to stand only in Irrawaddy Division

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Bureaucratic roadblocks by the junta’s electoral watchdog have forced the Union Karen League party to miss the deadline on membership quota to contest seats in nationwide elections slated for November 7 and will run only in Irrawaddy Division, a party organiser said.

It had intended to stand across the country but had trouble submitting the minimum required strength of 1,000 in the time allotted by the junta’s Union Election Commission (UEC). As a registered party, it managed to have just over 500 members’ names approved by the UEC within the stipulated 90 days after registration so it will run only as a regional party, Rangoon Division organiser Tin Hla told Mizzima.

“When we submitted the party membership strength to the UEC, it … found some forms were not signed and some forms failed to mention dates of birth, so the rejections reduced our membership strength,” Tin Hla said. “Now we can’t complete the work of collecting their signatures and recruiting members in the remaining time.”

UKL party organiser and executive committee member Hnin Phyu confirmed the bureaucratic delays. “We submitted about 1,500 party members’ names to the UEC but some were rejected.”

General provisions of the Political Parties Registration Law, Chapter 5, require that a party submit its membership strength by listing each members’ name, party membership number, father’s name, date of birth, national registration certificate number, address, date of joining the party and signatures of party members.

The UKL submitted its party strength to the UEC’s head office in Naypyidaw on August 10 but it rejected the list, citing the missing details. The deadline was Saturday, August 21 but the party only managed to hand in names of a little more than 500 members on August 18.

To avoid being dissolved, the UKL will contest only in Irrawaddy Division where many ethnic Karen people live and only some rich candidates will contest in all three legislative bodies in the division, a party spokesman said.

The party had registered with the UEC with the intention of contesting seats in Irrawaddy, Rangoon, Pegu, Tenasserim divisions and Karen and Mon states. It also stood in the 1990 general elections but failed to secure a single seat. 

The UEC approved the UKL’s re-registration on May 21 and assigned it number 11. The party’s head office is in Kyimyindine Township, Rangoon Division, another Karen population centre.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 August 2010 02:06 )  
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