Myanmar: New pro-democracy party planned for elections

Updated On: Sep 16, 2009

The formation of a new political party, the Democratic Party, to contest the 2010 elections was announced at a press conference in Rangoon on Monday.

Thu Wai, a veteran politician, announced that he will form the Democratic Party once the military government announces a planned political party registration law. He will chair the party. Serving as executive secretaries will be former Prime Minister U Nu's daughter Than Than Nu, former Prime Minister Ba Swe's daughter Nay Yee Ba Swe, and Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, the daughter of a former deputy prime minister.

Than Nu said she would be the general secretary of the party. She returned from India in 2003 after leaving the country with her parents in 1969.

"We decided to take part in the coming elections as it is a chance for us and we expect to serve the country," Than Than Nu said.

Her father U Nu was Myanmar's first premier after the country won independence in 1948, serving three separate terms. His final spell in government came when he was overthrown in 1962, which marked the beginning of the junta. He died in 1995.

The Democratic Party is also expected contain some leading businessmen as well as former student activists.

Thu Wai said the party will pursue democracy through the means of the parliament. If the Democratic Party were in power, it would seek to release all political prisoners and to fulfil the peoples' desires, he added.

However, Win Naing, a well-known politician, said that the 2010 elections offer few prospects for pro-democracy forces in Burma, since pro-democracy groups are divided on whether to run in the elections or not.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, which won a landslide in 1990 but was never allowed to govern, has not said whether it will participate in next year's polls. Suu Kyi's house arrest was extended in August until after the end of 2010.

Myanmar's military government announced that it would hold the 2010 elections after approving a controversial constitution in May 2008, just days after devastating Cyclone Nargis hit the country.

According to the new constitution, the military will officially and permanently control 25 percent of both the Upper House and Lower House seats in parliament, with the defence services personnel nominated by the Commander-in-Chief.


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Three Daughters Form Democratic Party, 15 September 2009,


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