12 parties issue statement accusing some NLD leaders of violating UEC directives

11 April 2017
12 parties issue statement accusing some NLD leaders of violating UEC directives
People walk in front of a campaign advertising of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party for the upcoming by-election in the country, in downtown Yangon, Myanmar, 29 March 2017. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Twelve political parties including the main opposition party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), issued a joint statement on April 7 saying some leaders of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party violated directives issued by Union Election Commission (UEC).
Just two days before the by-elections held on April 1, State Counsellor and Foreign Affairs Minister, NLD Chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi delivered her address in commemoration of one year after taking power.
The full text of this nationwide televised address was reported in all state-run daily papers just one day before the by-elections along with the NLD’s new motto, ‘Together with the people.’
In the televised address, Aung San Suu Kyi said her party had fulfilled promises madeduring the election campaign in 2015.
“I don’t mean NLD government is a government owned by NLD. I mean we take responsibility for governance. In the last two years, our party motto was ‘It’s time for change’. And after one year of taking power, I think, we should change this motto slightly. We will march forward on this road ‘together with the people’”, Aung San Suu Kyi said in her address.
The opposition parties pointed out that the address which was covered in state-run daily papers were violations of directives issued by UEC.
Chairman Thu Wai of Democratic Party (Myanmar) which is one of the parties in this joint statement, said, “She can talk about her government’s achievements in this one year period but when she spoke about her party’s achievements it wassimilar to campaigning for the party. I don’t know whether it was deliberate or accidental. This is contrary to the electoral laws and directives issued by UEC. We just want to point out what should not be done by the ruling party.”
The joint statement says that the televised address violated the 2008 Constitution and directives issued by UEC.
NLD Central Committee member Aung Shin responded by saying, “According to our understanding, the televised address delivered on March 30 is a review of the activities of government over one year. It is not an election campaign for any party. It is just an objective and dignified review of the strong and weak points of governance over one year.”
The joint statement further says that the 12 political parties will submit their objections to the UEC in accordance with the law.
UEC Secretary Tin Tun said, “We have not yet received any letter in this regard so we have no comments yet on the matter. When we receive official communication, it will be discussed and decided on by UEC Chairman and members. I alone cannot say anything on this matter.”