Transparency a watchword as Suu Kyi pushes for an election ‘landslide’

Transparency a watchword as Suu Kyi pushes for an election ‘landslide’
Photo: Thet Ko/Mizzima

A new property rule has been set for the National League for Democracy representatives to ensure the transparency as the party gears up for what party chairperson Daw Aung San Suu Kyi hopes will be a landslide election win.
Suu Kyi called on her party members June 21 to push for an election victory at a meeting to celebrate her 70th birthday, two days earlier. 
Transparency is important for the party as Suu Kyi made clear in a speech at central committee meeting held on the 20 June. 
The party representatives who wish to compete in the up-coming election are required to submit their moveable and immoveable assets, their spouse’s assets and those of their children.
In addition to the list of their assets, the representatives would need to give their bank account number and inform the party of any business connections. 
Moreover, the contestants have to be cooperative should there be a need to investigate their property holdings. 
“It is to remind the representatives that participating in the election is not for themselves or for their family but for the country and for the flourishing of democracy in the country. People will not be able to trust the representatives who cannot show their assets,” said Suu Kyi. 
The NLD first participated in the 1990 general election and won with a landslide but was prevented by the military junta from taking office. The NLD boycotted what it viewed as flawed elections in 2010. But it entered the 2012 by-election and won 43 out of 44 seats contested, and currently has 45 seats. 
Suu Kyi once again reminded citizens that it is impossible to amend the constitution with less than four dozen seats in a parliament that numbers of 600 MPs in total. 
“We didn’t make an easy promise to the public and we will never make a promise that we cannot keep for the up-coming election,” she said. 
Regarding choosing the representatives, Daw Suu said that the party is going to choose the representatives based on their ability to lead the people and not on seniority or age. 
“If we see someone who is capable of representing us even if he or she is not from NLD, we will ask that person to represent us. Whether to accept the offer is up to their personal decision,” said Suu Kyi. 
The opposition leader also requested the members to be understanding in choosing the representatives and ask for the courage to step down if it is necessary. 
She also stated her concern over the instability of country and warned the committee members to not use instability as an excuse to win the votes and reminded the citizens to not let it change the purpose of the election. 
The up-coming general election is set to be held in the first week of November as the latest although the exact date has not been announced yet. 
There were many complaints about the voter list recently announced, with claims of names are missing from the list, as well as other mistakes.
The dissident turned opposition politician warned party members against showing any complacency in the run up to the vote.
“We the National League for Democracy need to have a landslide win in the election,” she told supporters. 
“Whatever we continue to do, with the support of the people and the strong will of our party members we will be successful.” 
Her comments underscore the long road to electoral success the NLD still faces, even though military rule has given way to a quasi-reformist government promising clean polls.
Under Myanmar’s current constitution, a quarter of parliamentary seats are still reserved for unelected members of the military. 
Analysts say the NLD needs to win as many seats as possible if they hope to effectively challenge the military’s hold on parliament.
Additional reporting from AFP
This Article first appeared in the July 2, 2015 edition of Mizzima Weekly.
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