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DPM wants urges Burmese public to use vote wisely

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Democratic Party (Myanmar) is urging Burmese voters to choose candidates wisely and without fear on November 7.

The election is the first after two decades since Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party recorded a landslide victory, after which the ruling military junta refused to relinquish power. The NLD has boycotted this year’s election as it felt the electoral laws would fail to ensure a credible poll or government. 

Despite rumours circulated that people were not keen about the 2010 election, the Democratic Party (Myanmar) (DPM) had found that many people were interested. Some thought it was a useless exercise to vote because the NLD, despite its landslide victory in 1990, were blocked from taking power and no reforms or progress in the post-poll era were in evidence. This election too would fail to bring any significant change, party general secretary Than Than Nu said.

“Our party wants people to exercise their franchise and openly express their opinion without fear,” she said.

The junta announced electoral laws this year that had greatly constrained the opposition. The constitution reserves 25 per cent of seats in the parliaments for the armed forces. In June, the Union Election Commission (UEC) banned processions, flag-waving and slogan-shouting during their campaigns. The UEC has also failed to enforce those laws against the parties it is backing.

The regime also restricted the opposition in such a way that victory for the junta-backed political parties is a foregone conclusion.

The DPM is among 32 political parties that have submitted a list of candidates to the UEC. The party will contest in Irrawaddy, Mandalay, Rangoon and Tenasserim divisions, and in Mon and Arakan states.

Party members were of the opinion that reforms were needed in Burma, the DPM leader said. “Our party will focus mainly on implementing different laws in the health, business, education and social-welfare sectors”, she said.

“Our party will also emphasise freedom for political prisoners,” she added.

The Peace and Diversity Party (PDP) on the other hand wanted parliament to allow voting rights to members of parliament, allow parliamentary news to be broadcast widely in the international media, and inform people how the country’s money was being spent, general secretary Nay Myo Wai said.

PDP is nominating seven candidates. The party will contest in Mingalardon and Insein townships in Rangoon Division and Bogale and Kyaitlatt in Irrawaddy Division.

A total of 42 political parties have registered to stand in the elections. Critics inside and outside Burma say the elections in Burma will be a farce and that the polls are designed as an attempt to legitimise and civilianise the junta’s rule.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 September 2010 13:21 )  
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