Yangon: The chairman of an opposition party
that split from Aung San Suu Kyi`s National League for
Democracy (NLD) said today that elections expected to be held
later this year could bring change to Myanmar.
Dr Than Nyein, whose National Democratic Force (NDF) is
made up of former members of Suu Kyi`s disbanded NLD, urged
people to vote in the first polls Myanmar will see in two
decades -- amid signs of a spat within the opposition.
"People should assume that this election could possibly
bring change," he said in an interview with AFP.
"They should vote at this election to do their duty by
choosing the party or the person who can really work for the
people and the country."
The NDF`s willingness to run in the election has put it
at odds with other former members of the NLD, who opted to
boycott the poll that critics dismiss as a sham designed to
legitimise the junta`s half-century grip on power.
"We formed our party with the aim to continue the
democracy struggle under the law," Dr Than said. "Meantime, we
are also trying to solve the social and economic problems that
are happening at the moment in the country."
The ruling junta has yet to announce a date for the
election which, it is rumoured, will be held in October or
Suu Kyi, quoted by her lawyer, said in March that she
would "never accept" her party registering for the election --
a move that would have required the NLD to expel her --
because the elections laws were "unjust".
Meanwhile, there have been signs of friction between
hardline opposition figures and more moderate activists who
opposed the call for a boycott.
Discord between the two camps surfaced recently when
former top NLD members accused the NDF of copying their party
symbol -- a bamboo hat -- and lodged a complaint with the
election commission about its use of the image.