The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

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Leaked Document Reveals USDP Tactics

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A document leaked to the press this week gives details on how the regime-backed USDP plans to fix the election.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) led by Thein Sein, the Burmese prime minister, has outlined a wide range of tactics—including the use of cadres of hardcore criminals—aimed at achieving a landslide victory in the upcoming election.

The party's documents, which were leaked to Burmese media this week allege that Burma's last election in 1990 was rigged by the then election commissioners in favor of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party.

Assessing the current political landscape in the run-up to the election, the documents says: “Our party [USDP] does not need to compete with any main opposition party,” adding that small political parties are faced with various challeges and are ineffectual.

“Our party has been systematically set up for strength and unity that will assure us public support and hence a victory,” the document states.

The military regime created the USDP on April 29, when Thein Sein and 26 ministers and senior officials officially formed USDP out of the regime's mass civic ogranization called the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), which was disbanded.

The Election Commission recognized the USDP as a political party on June 8.

All USDA assets were transferred to the USDP early this month, raising complaints by political parties that this was a violation of the election laws.

Documents which describe the election as a “battle” sketch plans for the party's election campaign.

Teams at the township level will consist of organization teams, support teams, reception teams, monitoring teams and transportation teams.

Team members with “cheerful, active, influential and other admirable” characteristics and qualities would be selected by the USDP Central Executive Committee (CEC). They would receive financial support from respective regional committees.

The party programs also include the organizing of criminals across the country.

“Criminals and thugs must be organized. Otherwise, they could be used by other political parties to bully, torture, and extort from us,” the 10-page document notes.

Two-member rallying groups responsible for getting all voters to go to the polling stations will be formed.

Two groups will be active on polling day, the document says. One will be outside the polling station and the other inside.

USDP representatives will be on hand to observe the conduct of the poll inside the polling stations and another supervisory group outside will keep close watch on the activities of opposition party members.

“If necessary, photo and video recordings must be taken in the townships,” the document states.

While several registered political parties are struggling to surmount financial and logistical constraints imposed by the election commission, USDP members are reportedly starting to canvass support across the country.

According to election observers in Rangoon, political parties will be allotted only two weeks for campaigning.

Critics say the coming election expected to take place in October lacks legitimacy and credibility.



Nyan_win80"Once her [Aung San Suu Kyi's] sentence expires in November, and that notion is not disputed, it is our understanding that she will have served her sentence."
—Nyan Win, the foreign minister of Burma


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