Friday, January 23, 2009

USDA will not contest in 2010 election: Official

by Salai Pi Pi

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The pro-government organization – Union Solidarity and Development Association – in Burma's western Chin state on Friday denied rumors that it will be changed into a political party to contest the ensuing 2010 general elections.

An official in the USDA office in Hakha, capital of Chin state, said that there has been no decision to fight the elections that the Burmese regime has declared to hold in 2010.

"So far, we have no information from above to prepare for a transformation of the organization into a political party," an official in Hakha's USDA office, who declined to named, told Mizzima.

"We have not held any political campaigns," the official said. "Till now we are only engaged in activities related to rural development work."

The official told Mizzima that the USDA in Chin state will keep staying out of political campaigns but focus only on regional development work in the area.

"The USDA is a civilian organization. It will continue to function as a civil society," he added.

However, other sources in Hakha town said that USDA had actually selected a few individuals to be candidates in the ensuing elections.

"Most of the candidates are delegates who had attended the national convention," the source told Mizzima.

According to the source, USDA has selected national convention delegates U Thatmang, and U Lakung and another independent U Ngikung, a retired Township administration official as candidates.

The USDA official, however, denied nominating candidates for the forthcoming poll saying, "We did not nominate any one as a candidate but I can't say if the people will pick up individuals from USDA for their organization in future."

The USDA was established by Burmese military Supremo Senior General Than Shwe in 1993, and is the largest civil society in Burma with a membership of over 20 million.

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