Monday, September 14, 2009

Retired Military Personnel to Form Political Party

The Irrawaddy News

RANGOON — The Myanmar War Veterans Organization (MWVO) will meet on Oct. 6-9 to form a political party to field candidates in the 2010 general election in Burma.

Members will reportedly be selected to run campaigns in every division and state, said sources in Naypyidaw, the capital.

Sources said that those selected are likely to be high-ranking retired officers, such as retired generals and colonels.

MWVO has more than 3,800 members who are former officers, more than 80,000 from lower ranks and more than 50,000 auxiliary members.

The MWVO has divisions devoted to politics, national defense and security, economics, social welfare and welfare.

The meeting will focus on preparing for the election and will be attended by retired Burmese officials who have represented states or divisions, according to sources.

“After the meeting, a list of retired officers who could contest elections will be released,” said a retired Burmese official in Rangoon.

Also, the regime-backed Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) will meet in late October to iron out preparations for the 2010 election, including the selection of candidates, said sources.

The junta will form numerous proxy parties to increase their chances of sweeping the election, said a Rangoon journalist.

The Burmese people have both positive and negative perspectives on the upcoming election. Some view it as the beginning of positive change in Burma while others see it as an extension of military rule.

A resident in Pegu said, “We were forced to vote ‘Yes’ in the national [constitutional] referendum. If we look at the example of the referendum, there is no way that the election will be fair.”

Ethnic ceasefire groups also have different perspectives on the election. Some Kachin and Mon leaders have already formed political parties field candidates while others say they will not take part in the election.

Burma Newscasts - Retired Military Personnel to Form Political Party
Monday, September 14, 2009

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