Thu, Sep 17, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Daughters of Burma’s leaders join new party

AFP , YANGON

The daughters of two former prime ministers are aiming to join a new political party that is being set up to take part in next year’s elections, organizers said on Tuesday.

The planned Democratic Party will be established by a veteran politician once the ruling junta passes a party political registration law for the polls scheduled for some time next year.

Than Than Nu, 62, a daughter of the nation’s first prime minister, U Nu, said she would be the general secretary of the party.

She returned from India in 2003 after leaving the country with her parents in 1969. Her father led the then-Burma after it won independence from Britain in 1948, serving three separate terms. His final spell in government came when he was overthrown in 1962, starting a period of military rule that continues to this day. He died in 1995.

“We decided to take part in the coming elections as it is a chance for us and we expect to serve the country,” Than Than Nu said.

Nay Yee Ba Swe, a daughter of the second prime minister Ba Swe, and Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, a daughter of a late former deputy prime minister, would also join the party, organizers said.

Ba Swe served from 1956 to 1957 in between U Nu’s first and second terms.

“We have no right to say anything officially about the party as we have no party registration law and election law yet,” said veteran politician Thu Wai, 77, who will be the chairman of the party.

“But we took this risk as we wanted to serve the people. We will not have much time after they announce the laws,” he said.

Myanmar’s junta announced that it would hold elections next year after approving a controversial constitution in May last year.Critics say the polls are a sham designed to legitimize the junta’s iron grip on power.

The National League for Democracy of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has not said whether it will participate in next year’s polls. It won the 1990 elections, but was not allowed to take office.

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