NLD accused of violating campaign rules during byelections

By HTUN KHAING & NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — Thirteen political parties have submitted a joint complaint to the Union Election Commission against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior National League for Democracy officials, accusing them of misusing state media prior to the April 1 by-elections.

The four-page complaint, dated May 8, cited State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s March 30 radio address and interviews with senior officials U Tin Oo and U Win Htein published the following day in state newspapers. It was signed by 13 political parties, including the Union Solidarity and Development Party.

They said that while Aung San Suu Kyi’s address was ostensibly to mark the government’s one-year anniversary, it was actually a political campaign speech designed to coincide with the by-elections.

They also said that her announcement of a new slogan for the NLD, “Together with the people”, constituted involvement in party activities by a member of government, which is forbidden under the constitution.

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Similarly, they alleged that interviews with Tin Oo and U Win Htein to mark the government’s first anniversary also broke electoral rules, as they featured the party’s logo and information about its history.

U Kyaw Thu Mg, general secretary of the National Political Alliance League, said his party signed the complaint letter because it believed it was unacceptable to use state-owned media to promote a party.

“No party should use state-owned media. You just can’t. It’s forbidden by the law,” he said.

Minister for Information Dr Pe Myint said in late April that it was just a “coincidence” that the interviews with Tin Oo and Win Htein were printed at the time of the by-elections. However, he said he had already ordered a “review” of the decision to publish them.

The letter was also signed by the New National Democratic Party, National Development Party, Myanmar National Congress, Modern People’s Party, Karen Democracy and Development Party, Democratic Party (Myanmar), National Democratic Force, National Political Alliance League, Rakhine State National Force, Diversity and Peace Party, People’s Democracy Party and Wunthanu Democratic Party.

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