Leaders stamp their authority on their parties
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