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Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has moved to combat what it believes to be a smear campaign being waged against the party.
On 30 September, the opposition party released a statement to its members instructing them to deal with harassment through the legal system. The statement said a ‘group of thugs’ had been harassing the party during its campaign, including distributing leaflets attacking the party and Suu Kyi, barring NLD candidates from entering certain neighbourhoods and assaulting party members.
The party has urged members not to respond to the tactics with anger, but rather through the appropriate legal channels by lodging complaints with the police and courts, as well as the Union Election Commission.
Win Htein, a NLD executive member, said the party so far had lodged one legal complaint against ruling-Union Solidary and Development Party’s (USDP) candidate in Hlegu Township.
“At the moment, we have decided to legally challenge the USDP’s candidate Khin Maung So in Hlegu Township, as he distributed power transformers while making a campaign speech in a local village. I was informed a legal complaint has been lodged,” said Win Htein.
The incentives handed out by the UEC may led to a breach of election campaign protocols.
He added that the party’s election billboards were vandalised and campaigners were targeted with harassment in Irrawaddy’s Myaungmya Township, Sagaing’s Kanbalu and Salingyi townships, and Mandalay’s Mahlaing Township.
In a 30 September statement released by the NLD campaign committee, the party warned against independent election candidates misusing the party’s name to win votes in some areas.
The NLD are fielding 1,130 candidates in the upcoming November election.