Tue 16 Oct 2012
Filed under: International,News
Amid controversy over leadership selection in some local branches of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Burma’s largest opposition party has announced it will hold a youth assembly following its nationwide party gathering later this year.
NLD Youth receive development training in this file photo. Photo: NLD “The assembly will be for people under 30,” party leader Nyan Win said. “In the party, there are now some members of the central committee in their early 30s who we can call young people but the youth assembly will be for those under 30.”
Nyan Win said the party now has almost 400,000 members, about half are “youth members,” and the number of women has increased.
Party leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said the NLD will try to register 1 million members nationwide. Last week, Suu Kyi made a public apology for “disunity” at some local branches in the country, with members expressing dissatisfaction over how local leaders are selected.
Nyan Win said the party’s senior members want to foster a new generation of leaders.
“In terms of overall leadership duties, young people will be given a proportionate number of positions in future,” he said, according to a report in the English-language Myanmar Times.
The Myanmar Times reported last week that the NLD is preparing to hold its first general assembly since was formed on Sept. 27, 1988. To select delegates for the assembly, which is scheduled for later this year, mini assemblies are being held at branch offices.
However, the selection process at the quarter and village level has been controversial, with some members labelling it undemocratic.
“This system is only being used for the assembly so we are telling people not to see it as a permanent thing. We also don’t accept their claim that the selection process for commission members is not democratic … we are assigning responsibility for the event to the people who are the most capable,” Nyan Win said.