Lead­ers stamp their au­thor­ity on their par­ties

Mizzima Business Weekly - - AFFAIRS // NEWS -

The two big­gest con­tenders in Myan­mar’s up­com­ing elec­tions, Aung San Suu Kyi’s Na­tional League for Democ­racy (NLD) and the gov­ern­ing mil­i­tary backed Union Sol­i­dar­ity and De­vel­op­ment Party (USDP) re­cently caused sur­prise with their harsh treat­ment of prospec­tive can­di­dates.

In both cases it ap­pears that the de­ci­sions were taken at the high­est lev­els of the party with­out party mem­bers be­ing con­sulted. Whereas such au­to­cratic be­hav­iour might be ex­pected from the USDP, which was founded by the mil­i­tary junta, it is far more sur­pris­ing to see it in a pur­port­edly demo­cratic or­gan­i­sa­tion like the NLD.

It also seems that those at the top of both par­ties made the de­ci­sions they did to en­sure that their mem­bers would be loyal to their lead­ers and to neu­tral­ize any threats to their lead­ers’ vi­sions or dis­sent­ing voices.

At the be­gin­ning of the month when the NLD is­sued its list of can­di­dates many peo­ple who were ex­pected to stand as NLD can­di­dates were omit­ted from the list.

The most high pro­file omis­sion was prob­a­bly Ko Ko Gyi, one of the lead­ers of the 88 Gen­er­a­tion Peace and

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