NLD ex­cludes most of ’88 Gen­er­a­tion from Myan­mar Poll

Mizzima Business Weekly - - AFFAIRS -

The Na­tional League for Democ­racy (NLD) has re­jected bids by 17 mem­bers of Myan­mar’s re­spected “88 gen­er­a­tion” to join its ranks and con­test Novem­ber’s elec­tion, a con­tro­ver­sial omis­sion of a group that was ex­pected to gal­vanise its bid to dom­i­nate the bal­lot Reuters re­ported on 2 Au­gust.

The party se­lected only one mem­ber of the pop­u­lar crop of ac­tivists, who suf­fered years of per­se­cu­tion af­ter lead­ing na­tion­wide stu­dent protests in 1988 that were bru­tally crushed by the rul­ing mil­i­tary.

Py­one Cho was the sole mem­ber of the group se­lected to rep­re­sent the party in the bal­lot. The NLD re­ceived 3,000 ap­pli­ca­tions and will field 1,090 can­di­dates.

The NLD’s can­di­date list does in­clude sev­eral in­tel­lec­tu­als and ac­tivists, in­clud­ing free speech ad­vo­cate Nay Phone Latt and Su­sanna Hla Hla Soe, who heads a fe­male em­pow­er­ment group.

The most high-pro­file ex­clu­sion was the charis­matic protest leader Ko Ko Gyi, who spent more than 17 years in and out of prison be­fore his 2012 re­lease. He de­clined to com­ment.

Some ex­perts said the de­ci­sion risks di­vid­ing groups that have a shared vi­sion of a more demo­cratic Myan­mar un­der which the mil­i­tary, which is guar­an­teed three min­is­te­rial po­si­tions and a quar­ter of leg­isla­tive seats, has no po­lit­i­cal role.

Party spokesman Nyan Win said it was the pre­rog­a­tive of the NLD’s Cen­tral Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee to choose who it wanted for its mem­bers of par­lia­ment.


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