Ex-PMs' kin join new Myanmar party

Daughters of former premiers to join Democratic party ahead of next year's polls.

    The military did not recognise the NLD's victory the last time polls were held nearly 20 years ago [AFP]

    Its executive secretaries would include 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.

    U Nu was Myanmar's first prime minister after independence from Britain in 1948 as well as its last before the military took over in 1962. He died in 1995.

    Ba Swe was the country's second prime minister, serving in 1956-57. He died in 1987.

    The government has planned the 2010 election as part of its "road map to democracy" in accordance with a constitution promulgated last year, but it has yet to introduce a registration law for political parties or an election law.

    Critics have said the planned polls are merely a means to entrench military rule.

    Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962.

    'Permanent dictatorship'

    It last held an election in 1990, but the government refused to recognise the results after a landslide victory by the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained opposition leader.

    The NLD has not yet decided whether to take part in next year's polls.

    Parties representing the country's many ethnic minorities have also not yet committed to the elections.

    Win Tin, a leading member of the NLD, wrote in a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post newspaper that "the showcase election planned by the military regime makes a mockery of the freedom sought by our people and would make military dictatorship permanent".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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