The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

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USDP to Open Offices Nationwide

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RANGOON — The junta's largest proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), led by Prime Minister Thein Sein and former military officials, will open offices across the country on Friday, according to a party official.

The official confirmed that party offices in Rangoon, Mandalay and other major cities, including those in provinces, would open at 8:45 a.m. Friday. The party's headquarters in Napyidaw will also officially open on Friday morning.

Even though the party members have been invited to opening ceremonies, local authorities would not attend, according to another party leader at the township level.

“We don't want the public to believe that we are no different than the authorities,” he said. He said that those attending the opening ceremonies would be served tea and snacks.

With the opening of the offices, the party will increase its momentum of organizing activities which include giving financial loans to the public, a party source said.

According to military sources in Naypidaw, a shuffle of regional military commanders will follow the USDP opening of offices, since more military and civilian officials are expected to join the USDP ranks as candidates in the coming weeks.

The military regime created the USDP in April 29, when Thein Sein and 26 ministers and senior officials officially formed the party out of the regime's mass civic organization called the Union Solidarity and Development Association.

The party now claims to have a membership of 8 million people. It has outlined a wide range of tactics—including the use of cadres of hardcore criminals—aimed at achieving a landslide victory in the election, according to recent party documents obtained by The Irrawaddy.

Including the USDP, seven political parties are seen as proxy parties of the military regime.


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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