New Delhi (Mizzima) – The National Democratic Force (NDF) will field candidates in all available constituencies in the forthcoming Burmese by-election to increase opposition forces in Parliament. Forty constituencies across the country will hold elections. However, the dates have not been announced yet.
In the 2010 general election, the government-sanctioned Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won a total of 882 constituencies out of 1,154. Other political parties won a total of 272 seats.
“We will contest in all available seats. Our pro-democracy forces are very weak in Parliament,” NDF party chairman Dr. Than Nyein told Mizzima.
Democratic Party (Myanmar) (DP-M) General-Secretary Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein said it would field two candidates, party leaders Thu Wei and Nay Yi Ba Swe.
The NDF, DP-M, Democracy and Peace Party, Union Democracy Party and 10 ethnic political parties representing Karen, Shan, Mon, Chin, Rakhine have given a candidate list to contest in the 40 vacant seats , according to the group’s Friends of Democracy By-election Work Committee. The goal is to marshal their forces and not to weaken each party’s chances of winning a constituency.
The Shan Nationality Development Party (SNDP) said that it will contest in 15 seats and would consult with the NDF party to avoid vote division, said party General-Secretary Sai Hla Kyaw.
The joint committee said it would provide poll watchers to monitoring voting with the intention to prevent the rampant vote rigging and other irregularities that occurred in the 2010 election.
Than Nyein said voting irregularities and other issues would be presented during a meeting with the Union Election Commission (UEC) in Naypyitaw to be held on Wednesday. Thirty cases were filed with the UEC; 27 cases were filed by the ruling USDP.
He said, “We encountered widespread cases of abuse in the 2010 general election. We lost in some constituencies where we could not be defeated.” He noted that the by-election would be held under the new government rather than the previous military government.
Shan politician Sai Ohn Kya said, “It will be good if we can have a clean election which can be accepted by all. We need that kind of election.”