USDP says agenda will not change

Ex-pres­i­dent U Thein Sein opened the ousted party’s con­fer­ence yes­ter­day by stat­ing that their pol­icy goals re­main in ac­cord with the “de­sires of the peo­ple”.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

THE Union Sol­i­dar­ity and De­vel­op­ment Party con­ven­tion opened yes­ter­day with its leader, for­mer pres­i­dent U Thein Sein, con­firm­ing that the cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee will be reshuf­fled, while ma­jor changes to his party’s plat­form are not on the agenda.

“The cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers will be se­lected in front of rep­re­sen­ta­tives at­tend­ing the con­ven­tion,” the party chair said.

In reshuf­fling the high-level com­mit­tee, he said mem­bers would be cho­sen based on loy­alty to the USDP and full ad­her­ence to the party’s rules and reg­u­la­tions. Cred­i­bil­ity among the party’s broader mem­ber­ship and the public would also be re­quired, as well as proven lead­er­ship skills and an abil­ity to work in uni­son to achieve the USDP’s aims.

“In re­con­sti­tut­ing the cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee to strengthen our party after re­view­ing the out­come of the last elec­tion, we have sys­tem­at­i­cally formed com­mit­tees at every level, from village or ward to cen­tral, to se­lect com­mit­tee mem­bers again,” he said.

U Hla Swe, a prom­i­nent for­mer USDP law­maker, told The Myan­mar Times this week that 70 per­cent of the cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee would change.

Yes­ter­day U Thein Sein said the in­ter­nal ob­jec­tives of the USDP were party unity, “flour­ish­ing democ­racy” within its ranks and a com­mit­ment to work with younger gen­er­a­tions.

But the USDP will not consider a fun­da­men­tal shift in the way it presents it­self to an elec­torate that handed the party a de­ci­sive de­feat in last Novem­ber’s gen­eral elec­tion.

“The party’s pol­icy goals are still in ac­cord with the needs and de­sires of the peo­ple, so we will con­tinue to hold them,” U Thein Sein said, adding that if a change in strat­egy is later deemed nec­es­sary, the party would ad­just to meet vot­ers’ de­mands.

“On be­half of the USDP, I’d like to send a mes­sage to peo­ple that we will try and make corrections to be able to ful­fil the needs of the peo­ple, ac­cept­ing peo­ple’s hopes and de­sire to see changes,” he said. The party would look to its coun­ter­parts in other suc­cess­ful democ­ra­cies glob­ally to learn “lessons” on how to sat­isfy the peo­ple, the ex-pres­i­dent said.

The three-day USDP con­ven­tion at the party’s head­quar­ters in Nay Pyi Taw will con­clude to­mor­row. It is just the sec­ond con­ven­tion called by the party, which was formed in 2010 to con­test the gen­eral elec­tion that year.

Though 2010 de­liv­ered a com­mand­ing par­lia­men­tary ma­jor­ity and the pres­i­dency to the USDP, last year’s vote saw the Na­tional League for Democ­racy win nearly 80pc of elected seats, al­low­ing NLD chair Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to form a gov­ern­ment.

‘The party’s pol­icy goals are still in ac­cord with the needs and de­sires of the peo­ple.’

U Thein Sein USDP chair

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