Two high-profile politicians in Burma have ditched their parties in favour of campaigning alongside Aung San Suu Kyi as her National League for Democracy (NLD) looks to secure maximum seats in the looming by-elections.
Nay Ye Ba Swe, the daughter of former Burmese prime minister Ba Swe, says she has officially joined the NLD after resigning her post as general secretary of the Democratic Party Myanmar. Her brother, Nay Htoo Ba Swe, will be accompanying her.
She suggested that Suu Kyi’s party, which is expected to win a majority of the 48 parliamentary seats available in the 1 April vote, is better placed to help develop Burma, which has suffered hugely from nearly half a century of military rule.
“[Various] sectors that are deteriorating from all sides … [and it is necessary to improve the image of Burma as a country that can be respected by the international community,” she told DVB.
Also joining the party is Myat Nyarna Soe, who already has a seat in parliament. He stood in the 2010 elections for the National Democratic Force, which split from the NLD following the latter’s boycott of the polls.
He said that the key purpose of the NDF was to fill the void left by the NLD, and that upon the party’s formation, its leaders had promised to “dock this life boat” when eventually the NLD became a political force again.
“Following the NLD’s registration … I proposed to the NDF to re-merge with the NLD but up to now it has not been implemented and this is why I am resigning … to re-join the NLD,” he said.
That effectively means the NLD has already secured a seat in parliament.
Suu Kyi is busy campaigning in Kachin state in northern Burma, where she will seek to get the all-important backing of ethnic minority groups. She was greeted yesterday by thousands of supporters in the village of Namti, where she said she would fight to grant ethnic group autonomy.
Additional reporting by Aye Nai