The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

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UDP Chairman Resigns, Citing Unfair Election

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The chairman of the Union Democratic Party (UDP), Phyo Min Thein, has resigned, saying the ruling junta’s election will not be free and fair. Phyo_Min_TheinAmong the currently registered 40 parties, Phyo Min Thein was the first party leader who decided to resign. He released a statement on his resignation on Thursday.   

He said that he wanted to abolish the party, but some colleagues wanted to wait before making that decision.

Phyo Min Thein told The Irrawaddy, “I made this decision so that the international community will be aware of the real situation regarding the elections.”

He said in the statement that the party’s demands—the release of all political prisoners, freely organizing political activities, press freedom—will never happen.    

As an example, he also singled out the irregular activities of the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). The USDP led by current Prime Minister Thein Sein has reportedly launched dirty campaigns at other parties that still have not been allowed to start campaigning.

In his statement, he urged that the international community take more concrete actions against the military government to hold a free and fair election.

Phyo Min Thein said that he had hoped to build a better democratic nation by participating in 2010 election.

Asking about the future, he said, “I’ll wait and watch the circumstance.”

Phyo Min Thein is a former political prisoner who took part in the 1988 demonstrations. Many of his 88 Generation political colleagues, including Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, are now serving long prison sentences in remote prisons.


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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