Daughters of ex-Myanmar PMs ‘to join new party’

Daughters of ex-Myanmar PMs ‘to join new party’

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

The planned Democratic Party is being established by a veteran politician once the ruling junta passes a party political registration law for the polls scheduled for some time in 2010.

Than Than Nu, 62, a daughter of Myanmar’s late 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.

“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 told AFP.

Her father U Nu was Myanmar’s first premier after the country won independence 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.

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

Ba Swe was the country’s second prime minister and served from 1956 to 1957 in between U Nu’s first and second terms.

The Democratic Party is also expected contain some leading businessmen as well as former student activists.

“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 military government announced that it would hold elections in 2010 after approving a controversial constitution in May 2008, just days after devastating Cyclone Nargis hit the country.

Critics say the polls are a sham designed to legitimise the junta’s iron grip on power.

Pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won a landslide in 1990 elections but was never allowed to govern, had her house arrest extended in August until after the end of 2010.

The NLD has not said whether it will participate in next year’s polls. AFP

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