Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Eleven opposition parties have officially formed an alliance in order not to split the ethnic vote and to compete more effectively in the upcoming by-election with the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the National Unity Party (NUP).
The alliance was formed Friday at a meeting at the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) office attended by 18 party representatives. The name of the alliance is the ‘Friends of Democracy By-election Work Committee’.
‘Now we have consolidated our parties as one, and we will take them on in the coming by-election', said Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) General-Secretary Oo Oo Hla Saw. ‘We believe the people are more interested in elections than before. I don’t think there will be vote rigging and a lot of absentee votes this time. I hope we will win this time if our ethnic parties contest collectively’.
Oo Oo Hla Saw said the alliance would only run one party candidate in each constituency. ‘If two parties want to field a candidate in the same constituency, one party will withdraw their candidate through consultation and negotiation’, he said.
The alliance will make the ethnic parties more competitive against the two dominant parties, the USDP and NUP. In the previous election, competing ethnic parties divided the ethnic vote and fewer ethnic candidates were elected, said Oo Oo Hla Saw.
The alliance is made up of the SNDP, RNDP, the Wunthanu NLD, the Chin Nationality Party, the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party, the All Mon Region Democracy Party, the National Democratic Front, the Union Democracy Party, the Democratic Party Myanmar, the Democracy and Peace Party and the National United League.
AMRDP central committee member Nai Hla Khaing said the group is working to compile a complete list of constituencies where it will field candidates, household registrations and electoral rolls for the coming by-election.
The NDF, UDP and the Democratic Party will contest in constituencies in Rangoon, Mandalay and the Bago regions. The White Tiger or SNDP will contest in Kachin and Shan states. A meeting will be held on July 1 to discuss fielding candidates.
The Myanmar Times reported that the USDP will contest in all 45 constituencies in the by-election.
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