Fri 27 Aug 2010
Filed under: Inside Burma
New Delhi – Attempting to strengthen their collective position as the November polling date nears, three Rangoon-based political parties have formed a political alliance, according to party sources.The Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics (UMFNP), 88 Generation Student Youths (Union of Myanmar) and Myanmar Democracy Congress Party (MDCP) on August 21 agreed that only one candidate from the three parties should contest in each constituency.
“Our three parties formed a political alliance for the forthcoming election. If one party of our alliance contests in a constituency, the other two parties will not contest in that constituency,” UMFNP chairman Aye Lwin told Mizzima.
On August 21, the Myanmar Democracy Congress Party invited 24 Rangoon-based political parties to attend a meeting to form a political alliance and to allocate the constituencies for each party to contest.
However, veteran Shan politician Shwe Ohn passed away on the same day, leaving only the three parties in alliance to attend the proceedings.
One hundred to 150 candidates from the political alliance will contest in constituencies throughout Rangoon, Pegu (Bago), Irrawaddy, Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing Divisions and Chin State, UMFNP chairman Aye Lwin said. At least 50 of the 150 candidates will be from Aye Lwin’s UMFNP party.
“Every political party is warmly welcomed to join our political alliance, even if they have different policies. We want to apportion the constituencies for the parties in alliance to avoid competing with each other,” he explained.
Similarly, the Democratic Party (Myanmar), National Democratic Force (NDF), Union Democracy Party (UDP), Rakhine Nationals Development Party (RNDP) and Shan Nationals Democratic Party (SNDP) met in Rangoon with the intention of forming a similar alliance in early July.
However, although the five parties met, being busy with trying to collect the required number of party members (1,000) and preparing to submit candidate lists within 16 days, they could not discuss the subject of a political alliance, according UDP Vice-Chairman No. (1) Htay.
Unless political parties form an alliance to apportion constituencies for candidacy, the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) will gain further advantages, a veteran journalist in Rangoon commented.
“If more than one pro-democracy political party contests in the same constituency, the USDP will take advantage. For instance, if both the Democratic Party (Myanmar) and NDF contest in the same constituency, the votes of the pro-democracy voters will be scattered between the two parties. If so, the junta-backed USDP will win easily in that constituency. If only one pro-democracy party contests in a same constituency, there will be a greater chance of victory,” he furthered.
NDF leader Khin Maung Swe said that his party would cooperate with other pro-democracy parties to avoid contesting in the same constituencies. He added that his party would not contest in constituencies where the UDP will contest.
“If pro-democracy parties clash with each other in the same constituencies, not only the parties but also the people will lose. So, the pro-democracy parties must negotiate with each other to allot constituencies,” he said.
Among the 47 political parties that have applied for registration, the electoral commission has approved 42, while 26 have submitted lists of party members, according to the August 25 issue of the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar.