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DVB speaks to Min Ko Naing, the 88 Generation leader and former political prisoner who campaigned tirelessly for the National League for Democracy (NLD) during this recent election campaign period.
Q: Taking into account the situation before and during the elections, do you think we can say that the polls were free and fair?
A: We ask this question about the ‘free and fairness’ of the election because we are looking at it from the passive point of view. The truth is that the results we are seeing now is due to our united efforts and determination to ensure free and fairness in the polls. We managed to achieve the results we have right now because everyone played their part: monitoring the polls, exposing irregularities, and making all the necessary demands.
Q: Do you think that the NLD, as the winner of the election, should form an alliance with ethnic-based political parties in April’s new parliament or should they work alone as the ruling party?
A: When looking to democratisation and establishing a federal union, the NLD must fully cooperate with ethnic leaders and representatives – and I believe they will. I wish to see real meaningful cooperation between political forces in the parliament working hand in hand in a spirit of true camaraderie.
Q: The NLD and 88 Generation Peace and Open Society have worked together on ‘politics outside the parliament’. Now that the NLD has won the elections and become the ruling party in the parliament, how do you plan to continue working with them?
A: We still share the aim of serving the country and the people’s interests. We may have different opinions and argue with one another with honest intentions, but we will maintain our stance as an ally.
Q: The international media have expressed concerns over Aung San Suu Kyi’s remarks that she will be ‘above the president’. What is your take on this?
A: Yes, it was a strange incident. But I would also like to point out the strange case [of the constitution] deliberately blocking her from becoming president. So this [Suu Kyi’s statement] was not uncalled for, as she was talking as an individual who was personally targeted by this restriction.
Q: The government in mid-October signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with eight ethnic armed groups and is now engaged in drawing up a political framework. What do you think about the prospects for the peace process now that the NLD has won a landslide victory in the elections?
A: I believe that all the reforms that come in the future political arena, including the NCA political dialogue, must correspond directly to the election results; only then can we achieve real change smoothly.
Q: Aung San Suu Kyi recently called for a quadripartite meeting with the president, commander-in-chief, and the Union Parliament speaker. Do you see their responses to her call as a positive sign?
A: For us, the people of Burma, it is like watching an adventure movie. But the people of Burma are no audience sitting in a cinema – we will be affected by the consequences, whether good or bad. At the moment, we don’t know how and when the meetings will take place, but what the people really want to see are results in a timely manner.
Read more DVB coverage of the 2015 general election