The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

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New Political Parties to Start Websites

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At least two new political parties in Burma will launch a website as a strategic part of their election campaign, according to party leaders.

Leaders of the Union Democratic Party (UDP) and the Peace and Diversity Party (PDP) said that they will soon contact the authorities for approval to set up a website.


Two Buddhist monks go online at an Internet cafe in Rangoon. (Photo: AFP)
To register a website with the government, a political party must pay 600,000 kyat (US $600) to the Scrutiny and Registration Division.

“To have a website will be important for a political party during the election campaign,” said Nay Myo Wai, the PDP secretary. “A website can spread our political ideas and make the public aware of our activities.”

Nay Myo Wai said he already has his own website at, which includes his personal political activities, the PDP party objectives and other information.

A political website is a new addition to the Burmese political landscape. The 1990 election campaign mainly relied on pamphlets, posters and political gatherings.

“Many political parties are aware that they need a website,” said Nay Myo Wai. “But, they don't have the skill or the money. But for me, I had the know-how to do it.”

Phyo Min Thein, the UDP chairman, said that he planned to seek technical assistance from friends and supporters outside of Burma to help set up a website.

“We intend to run a website because we want the international community to know about our political activities,” he said. “We don't get enough news coverage inside or outside Burma for people to know about our activities. We need a website.”

According the the 1962 Printing and Publishing Act, a registered political party can publish election-related materials such as pamphlets, journals and booklets without the approval of the press censorship division. The law requires that a political party not oppose the ruling State Peace and Development Council or criticize the armed forces, and it must comply with existing laws.

The authorities exercise strict regulations governing the Internet in Burma.

Party leaders said that they don't know how many people inside the country would visit their website, but they also want to inform people outside the country about their activities, and to make information available to media  inside Burma.

The government has not yet announced an election date, but many observers believe it will be held around October or November.

So far, 32 political party have registered, and 28 parties have been approved by the Union Election Commission. Many party leaders say they are struggling to find enough funds to start campaigns in various areas of the country.



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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