NLD protests early campaigning by USDP

NLD protests early campaigning by USDP

Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), said it will lodge a formal complaint against three candidates from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for electioneering ahead of 8 September, the date set for the beginning of the two-month campaign period.

The NLD’s Min Thu, a Lower House MP representing Ottarathiri constituency in Naypyidaw, said the party would complain to the Union Election Commission about active election campaigning by: retired general Hla Htay Win; retired lieutenant-general Wai Lwin; and incumbent Agriculture Minister Myint Hlaing, who are contesting seats in Zayarthiri, Pobbathiri and Dakhinathiri constituencies, respectively.

“Retired general Hla Htay Win on 29 August escorted doctors and medical staff from the 1,000-bed military hospital to the village of Kyaukchat in Zayarthiri Township to provide eye surgery services for some residents,” Min Thu said. “While it was a good deed, we can assume it was meant as a campaign ploy.”

He said that USDP candidate Wai Lwin “donated” over 60 million kyat (US$48,000) to villagers in Pobbathiri Township, which included costs for electricity installation in homes. Wai Lwin told a news journal that his donation was “an act of kindness” and was not intended as an election campaign activity.

Meanwhile, Myint Hlaing stands accused by the NLD of distributing leaflets, slippers and umbrellas to residents in his Dakhinathiri constituency.

The three were unavailable for comment when contacted by DVB.

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According to a report by Eleven Media, the NLD’s Min Thu said that his party “is abiding by the law”.

Nonetheless, party leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been appearing at party rallies in Shan State in recent days, where crowds decked out with red NLD scarves, t-shirts, flags and stickers turned out in force to offer The Lady a rapturous welcome.

Speaking in Hsipaw on Saturday, Suu Kyi then travelled south the following day to Hopone, where she pledged her party would, if elected, prioritise the peace process and work to host a second Panglong Conference – a reference to the summit her legendary father Aung San hosted in 1947, which promised ethnic groups a large degree of autonomy.

Far from electioneering, however, the NLD leader’s rally in Shan State this weekend was announced as … “a voter education tour”.

 

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