Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Burma to hold General Election 2010

Than Shwe in his message on Independence Day on January 4, did confirmed that the election would take place asked Burmese people to exercise the right choice. “Plans are under way to hold elections in a systematic way this year. In that regard, the entire people have to make correct choices,” Than Shwe said. The junta supremo has urged the Burmese people to make an all out effort to develop and achieve the so called disciplined democracy in the country in accordance with the new constitution which had been forcibly approved days after Cyclone Nargis devastated Burma’s delta areas. “The State’s seven-step Road Map designed for emergence of a peaceful, modern and developed nation is the sole process for transition to democracy. The programme is in the process of being implemented step by step,” he said. Burma's main opposition party the National League for Democracy held a separate ceremony in their headquarters to mark the country’s independence in 1948 after 63 years of British rule.Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, General Secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), on Monday told Mizzima that with the electoral law still unannounced, the DP leadership is not even sure if they can still contest the planned election, as there will be limited time for party formation as well as campaigning. “We heard the electoral law will be announced only about three months ahead of the polls. If that is true, it will be difficult for us to contest. We are now rethinking and reviewing our position,” Cho Cho Kyaw Nyien said. “It is necessary to have national reconciliation and unity to address political, social and economic problems faced Burmese people in the country,” Khin Maung Swe, spokesperson of the NLD told Mizzima on Monday. “Only after talks between Than Shwe and Aung San Suu Kyi happen will the rest of the political problems be solved,” he added. Burma's another political outfit Democratic Party,the DP is a political party formed of veteran politicians, including Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister Kyaw Nyein, Than Than Nu, daughter of former Prime Minister U Nu, and Nay Yee Ba Swe, daughter of former minister Ba Swe. The trio are political contemporaries of detained Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, as their fathers fought alongside one another during Burma’s independence struggle against the British. Burma’s military rulers have declared the holding of a general election, the first to be held after two decades, they have not specified any dates and are yet to announce an electoral law, which will set guidelines for prospective candidates. “Our Chairman, Thu Wai, has requested Senior General Than Shwe to review their plan of announcing the electoral law only three months ahead of the actual poll. We have not received any response as yet,” declared Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein. She said, like other political parties, the DP also needs at least six months to a year or more for preparation for the election, as they need to identify who can represent the party as well as organize a campaign. “At this time, we are not even sure who would be eligible as a candidate, everything is uncertain,” she said. “And we even feel like we should drop contesting the election. But since some of our members think it would still be possible for them to contest, we are now reviewing our situation,” she added. According to her information, the electoral law will be announced sometime in April and actual polls likely to be held three months later. However, given the junta’s secretive nature, her information could not be independently verified. The DP was formed in late June 2009, comprising a 15-member Central Executive Committee headed by Chairman Thu Wei. Though the ruling junta is yet to announce an electoral law, sources said members of the junta-backed civilian organization Union Solidarity and Development Association have been seen in recent weeks taking an increasingly pro-active role in undertaking community development projects, which many believe to be an effort to win the people’s trust ahead of elections.

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