A founder of the opposition National Democratic Force (NDF) who left after a high-profile fallout with senior members is close to setting up his own party after Burma’s election authority allowed him to register as an independent candidate.
Thein Nyunt told DVB that he will be joined by four other members of the NDF who also appear to have become disillusioned with the party’s senior ranks, although they await permission from the Union Election Commission.
Shortly after last year’s elections, cracks appeared in the NDF, the party that formed after splitting off from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy in order to compete in the polls.
Thein Nyunt was accused by fellow leaders, notably party co-founder Khin Maung Swe, of sharing sensitive policy details with the media and accusing the party of using foreign funding, a practice that is illegal under Burmese law. Thein Nyunt responded that the party had failed to carry out a financial audit it had promised to do.
The incident led to the NDF requesting permission from the UEC to dismiss Thein Nyunt as a member. Until recently however he resided over a faction of the party known as Thingangyun NDF, nominally separate to the Central NDF.
“We are forming a party in the near future based on strategies to solve the political problems via peaceful political means,” he told DVB. Party policy would focus on “clean politics, national reconciliation, democracy and human rights”.
He said he hopes to bring in NDF members U Kyaw, Bone Myint Aung, San San Myint and Kyi Myint, although he is the only one so far approved as an independent candidate.
Khin Maung Swe said the four are free to leave the party if they wish, but warned that conflict may erupt if the NDF’s bamboo logo is used by the new group.
He added however that while U Kyaw, Bone Myint Aung, San San Myint are “close aides” to Thein Nyunt, the resignation of Kyi Myint was yet to be decided by the NDF, given that “he has some matters to settle with our party’s headquarters”.
The NDF broke away from the NLD in May 2010 following the latter’s decision to boycott the polls. It fielded nearly 80 candidates in the 7 November vote, winning 16 seats.