Monday, 20 January 2020

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Frustration grows over delayed election law

New Delhi (Mizzima) - A Rangoon-based political party gearing up to contest the junta’s planned 2010 elections, on Monday expressed frustration over the delay in announcing the electoral law, as it leaves them at sea regarding whom they can choose as a candidate.

Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, General Secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), on Monday told Mizzima that with the electoral law still unannounced, the DP leadership is not even sure if they can still contest the planned election, as there will be limited time for party formation as well as campaigning.

“We heard the electoral law will be announced only about three months ahead of the polls. If that is true, it will be difficult for us to contest. We are now rethinking and reviewing our position,” Cho Cho Kyaw Nyien said.

The DP is a political party formed of veteran politicians, including Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister Kyaw Nyein, Than Than Nu, daughter of former Prime Minister U Nu, and Nay Yee Ba Swe, daughter of former minister Ba Swe.

The trio are political contemporaries of detained Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, as their fathers fought alongside one another during Burma’s independence struggle against the British.

Though Burma’s military rulers have declared the holding of a general election, the first to be held after two decades, they have not specified any dates and are yet to announce an electoral law, which will set guidelines for prospective candidates.

“Our Chairman, Thu Wai, has requested Senior General Than Shwe to review their plan of announcing the electoral law only three months ahead of the actual poll. We have not received any response as yet,” declared Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein.

She said, like other political parties, the DP also needs at least six months to a year or more for preparation for the election, as they need to identify who can represent the party as well as organize a campaign.

“At this time, we are not even sure who would be eligible as a candidate, everything is uncertain,” she said.

“And we even feel like we should drop contesting the election. But since some of our members think it would still be possible for them to contest, we are now reviewing our situation,” she added. 

According to her information, the electoral law will be announced sometime in April and actual polls likely to be held three months later. However, given the junta’s secretive nature, her information could not be independently verified.

The DP was formed in late June 2009, comprising a 15-member Central Executive Committee headed by Chairman Thu Wei.

Though the ruling junta is yet to announce an electoral law, sources said members of the junta-backed civilian organization Union Solidarity and Development Association have been seen in recent weeks taking an increasingly pro-active role in undertaking community development projects, which many believe to be an effort to win the people’s trust ahead of elections.

Reporting by Myint Maung, writing by Mungpi


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