More parties cancel election broadcasts

A second party has cancelled a broadcasting session on state media after Burma’s junta-appointed Election Commission rejected its campaign script.

The secretary of the Diversity and Peace Party (DPP), Nay Myo Wei, said that the rejection notification explained that the EC “only wanted the parties to talk about their political ideologies and work procedures, but not about other issues they wanted to highlight”.

It mirrors a similar cancellation by the Union Democracy Party (UDP), one of the more vocal opposition parties whose campaign script was also rejected. It however is pursuing with canvassing, and will this week hold talks with the Democratic Party (DP), Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNLD) and the Arakanese National Development Party (ANDP) about possible collaboration.

Nay Myo Wei said that the DPP’s manuscript included “political analysis highlighting discussions on around 13 issues, such as on why the party candidates should go for open voting, why abstentions are not allowed in the voting and on why [the law] requires us to disclose our financial income and the budget for public knowledge”.

He added that the party would talk about media freedom – a likely rouse for the Burmese junta which resides over some of the strictest media laws in the world.

Conditions surrounding the build up to Burma’s first elections in 20 years, slated for 7 November, have been shrouded in controversy amid apparent favouring by the EC of pro-junta parties, such as the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), led by Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein.

The USDP is set to field close to 1000 candidates, while the UDP has complained it cannot meet the steep candidate fees, and will only field three. The DPP has seven ready to hit the road, and is currently campaigning in about 10 villages in Irrawaddy delta’s Bogale township.

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