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‘Third Force’ parties register for election

Some political parties including so-called Third Force parties have begun to register for Burma’s upcoming elections after the ruling junta last week announced regulations for political parties registration.

Aye Lwin of Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics (UMFNP) said registration forms for his party and 88 Generation Students and Youths-Union of Myanmar, led by his younger brother Ye Htun, were submitted to the Election Committee in the capital Naypyidaw Monday.

“We have submitted applications to form political parties as provided in the [Election] Laws. I applied for the registration of the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics,” said Aye Lwin.

“The 88 Generation Students and Youths-Union of Myanmar led by Ye Htun will stand as a separate party.”

Aye Lwin, known to have close ties with the ruling State Peace and Development Council, was a student activist in 1988 uprising against the military rule. Later, he switched sides and started running campaigns against international sanctions on Burma under the banner of 88 Generation Students –Union of Myanmar, in contrast with prominent pro-democracy 88 Generation Students led by Min Ko Naing.

Thu Wei, chairman of another Third Force group the Democratic Party said the group has decided to enter registration and stand for the election.

“We summoned a Central Executive Committee meeting on Sunday and concluded to register,” said Thu Wei.

“We are to send a representative among our CEC members to travel to Naypyidaw and submit our application.”

Other Third Force groups planning to register for the election are – Diversity and Unity party led by Nay Myo Wei, a yet to be named group led by former 88 generation student activists Phyo Min Thein and Thein Tin Aung and the Union Democracy Party led by Shan politician Shwe Ohn.

Currently, about nine political groups are preparing to enter the elections.

Meanwhile, the main opposition National League for Democracy is to decide on March 29 on whether to register and stand for the elections or not. Regulation for political party registration pointed in the Election Laws requires the group to expel its leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

She recently told her lawyers she would not even think of registering for elections but added she would let the party decide for itself whether or not to participate.


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