Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pro-junta group announces formation of political parties

New Delhi (Mizzima) - A pro-junta group, the 88 generation students (Union of Myanmar), has said it is all set to contest the upcoming 2010 general election as drawn up by the ruling junta.

Aye Lwin, a former 88 generation student and leader of the group, said they will have two parties to contest the election, believing the process could set Burma on the road to political reform, though democracy in Burma will admittedly require more time to evolve into a mature and stable political institution.

"We will have two parties to contest the election," Aye Lwin told Mizzima on Tuesday. While he will be leading the National Political League (Union of Myanmar) as its chairman, the 88 generation students (Union of Myanmar) will be led by other former students who participated in the 1988 general uprising.

"We are waiting for the announcement of the Election Law and specifics regarding the registration of political parties," he said.

Aye Lwin added that the election is the only way forward for Burma, which has remained in a virtual political stalemate for the past 20 years.

"We have begun campaigning in at least six divisions and three states and will continue with it," commented Aye Lwin, a former Rangoon Institute of Technology student and a colleague of detained student leader Min Ko Naing during the 1988 pro-democracy uprising.

Aye Lwin, who later switched political stands and criticized fellow student leaders and the mainstream opposition movement, including Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said he believes that democracy can be best and earliest achieved through the junta's roadmap.

Meanwhile, NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said his party has not yet decided on whether or not to contest the upcoming election, saying, "We would like to first observe the situation."

The NLD and other opposition groups have condemned the junta's roadmap and criticized the constitution as a tool to cement military rule in Burma.

Reporting by Salai Pi Pi

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