Sunday, 17 November 2019

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NLD prepares for maiden congress

Myanmar's main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), inaugurates its first general assembly on Friday with more than 1,000 representatives expected to attend from all across the country, while speculation is rife that now may be the time for some new blood in the leadership ranks.

A worker arranges flags as part of preparations for the National League for Democracy party congress at the Royal Rose Hall in Yangon. (AFP PHOTO)
A worker arranges flags as part of preparations for the National League for Democracy party congress at the Royal Rose Hall in Yangon. (AFP PHOTO)
The NLD congress will be held from March 8 to 10 at the Royal Rose Restaurant and Hall in Yangon’s Bahan Township, which is the same venue the party chose for its Yangon regional meeting in October.

Preliminary closed-door meetings for selected members will begin on Friday before the main event—the election of a leadership that will carry the party into the 2015 general elections.

“There has not been a party congress like this in Myanmar's history,” NLD spokesman Nyan Win was quoted as saying by AFP.

He said the party will elect a core leadership executive of 15 people as well as a wider 120-member Central Committee.

According to a report by Channel News Asia, some observers believe Aung San Suu Kyi's party will choose a combination of old and new members to renew the party's leadership.

NLD youth members have long complained about the old guard exercising dominance within the party; deputy leader Tin Oo is 85, while senior member Win Tin is 83.

“The role of young people is essential not only for the NLD but also for the country and for the world,” said NLD youth member Yazar, 34, speaking to AFP.

Suu Kyi, 67, has not ruled out her own presidential ambitions despite a constitutional regulation that bars her from the position because she was married to a Briton and has two sons who both have foreign citizenship.

Suu Kyi has herself come under fire—mostly from the international community and ethnic leaders, as opposed to her Burman base of loyal supporters—for her refusal to support the Muslim Rohingya community which has suffered persecution and was allegedly subjected to state-supported violence, and the Kachin, thousands of whom are living as refugees or under siege from the Myanmar army in the north of the country.

In addition, an internal rift between NLD leaders in Ayeyarwady [Irrawaddy] region has sown discord among many rank and file members.

Related articles:
  1. NLD right to accept donations from well-connected businessmen: Suu Kyi
  2. NLD to hold a youth assembly this year
  3. NLD to seek constitutional changes to allow Suu Kyi to serve as president

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