Yangon: A new party formed by renegade members
of Aung Sang Suu Kyi`s disbanded Myanmar opposition party
opened its headquarters today but says it now faces the hurdle
of finding funding to field candidates.
All candidates contesting military-run Myanmar`s first
election in two decades must pay the Election Commission
500,000 kyat (USD 500), more than half a year`s salary for the
The ruling junta has not yet announced a date for
elections, scheduled to be held later this year.
Suu Kyi`s National League for Democracy, which won the
last election in 1990 but was denied power by the junta, is
boycotting the vote to what it calls unfair and undemocratic
election laws and so refused to register.
As a result, it was disbanded, but several weeks later a
faction of the party`s breakaway members formed the National
Democratic Force. Suu Kyi has expressed dissatisfaction
through her lawyer with the formation of the new breakaway
On Sunday, the National Democratic Force launched
balloons into the sky to inaugurate the party`s headquarters
in an eastern Yangon suburb as about 40 plainclothes police
watched the event.
The party is one of 39 new political parties and five
existing ones that have registered to contest the elections,
which critics have dismissed as a sham designed to cement 50
years of military rule.