U Nu's daughter to enter elections

Sept 15, 2009 (DVB), The daughter of the first civilian prime minister of Burma, U Nu, has been appointed a senior position in a party set to run in the 2010 elections, scheduled for March next year.

Than Than Nu will act as general secretary of the Democratic Party, a recently formed group whose chair, Thu Wei, was once close to the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

She will be joined by Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein as executive general secretary, whose father Kyaw Nyein headed the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL).

AFPFL was Burma's main political party from 1945 to 1962, founded by U Nu and General Aung San, father of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Democratic Party has fought off accusations that it has ties to pro-junta groups such as the 88 Generation Students (Union of Myanmar) and the National League for Democracy (Patriot).

"We absolutely have no links with them; they are government-backed groups and we have no contact with the government until now," he said.

"We are just taking a chance with our own ideas and we don't know what is going to happen because, as you know, this government is unpredictable."

Thu Wei allegedly distanced himself from the NLD due to differing viewpoints on whether to run for the elections.

Critics of the ruling junta have argued that the redrafted 2008 constitution, which was rushed through in the weeks following cyclone Nargis last May, guarantees continuation of military rule. The NLD are yet to announce whether they will compete or not.

Thu Wei yesterday spoke at a discussion forum held in Rangoon, reportedly aimed at educating Burmese youths about politics prior to the 2010 elections.

Reporters from local news journals were present at the event, a rare occurrence in a country whose rulers are notoriously fearful of political organising.

"I mentioned that the country is getting bored with having the same government ruling for a long time and that this is an opportunity for us now that the government is promising elections," said Thu Wei.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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