The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

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Democratic Party to Cooperate with Individual Candidates

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The Democratic Party (Myanmar) and some individual candidates in Rangoon will cooperate in order to win more seats in the parliamentary election on Nov. 7, according to sources.

Thu_WaiTin Hsan, an individual candidate, told The Irrawaddy that the main reason for the cooperation with the DP is to create a stronger democratic faction within the parliament. It has been agreed that the DP and selected individual candidates will cooperate, he said.

“Apart from the DP, we will also cooperate with other groups and parties as well as ethnic organizations,” he said. “To stand as a democratic force within the parliament is our aim.”

Tin Hsan is running as a candidate in Rangoon's Tarmway Township. Eight other individual candidates will  cooperate with the DP:  Dr. Phone Wine, Yuzar Maw Htun, Tin Hsan, San Myint, Win Htein Oo, Win Naing, Kyaw Kyaw Min and Thein Tan.

“We and the DP have the same vision, and we believe it will be better if we can cooperate rather than work individually,” Yuzar Maw Htun told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

Yuzar Maw Htun, who will run in Hlaing Township, and her husband, Dr. Phone Win, are directors of a Mingalar Myanmar, nongovernmental organization.

Dr. Phone Win, who will run in Kamaryut Township, said one the reasons for cooperation with the DP is “to develop a consultation practice among democratic forces.”

Political party leaders said it is important for democratic forces to cooperate more because the election will be held in less than two months.

Although democratic forces say they will work together during the election, some parties are reportedly  still running their own candidates in the same constituencies rather than running in separate constituenties.

Khin Maung Swe, a leader of the National Democratic Force (NDF), said, “It is true that the candidate placement in some constituencies in Rangoon has been overlapping because of financial and time constraints. The situation didn't allow us to consult prior to the placement.”

He said the NDF, however, has not run some candidates in constuenties contested by candidates for the Union Democratic Party (UDP), Peace and Diversity Party (PDP) and DP. The NDF is yet to cooperate with individual candidates, but it has consulted with the UDP to some extent, he said.

Party candidates said more cooperation is needed now because democratic forces have to compete with the government-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) led by incumbent Prime Minister Thein Sein and the National Unity Party (NUP), which will contest the election in almost every constituency across the country.

Several democratic candidates have said that if they are elected they will gradually try to amend some articles in the Constitution, which they consider to be undemocratic.

Similarly, many ethnic political party leaders said that in the future parliament they will work step by step for ethnic rights, the development of their regions and equality.

DP chairman Thu Wai said, “It doesn't matter the size of the size of democratic factions when we discuss certain matter in the parliament. If a candidate is well-rounded and brave, and can present proper reasons they will gain support. Majority support is needed for legislation though.”

Since the military government announced the election date on Aug. 13, 42 political parties have been registered to take part in the Nov. 7 election.


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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