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Suu Kyi`s party complains of `unfair treatment`

Last Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012 - 19:10

Yangon: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi`s political party on Monday decried what it described as "unfair treatment" by the authorities ahead of April 1 bypolls.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) said in a statement that people in one village in northwest Sagaing were forced by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to attend one of its meetings.

It said the Army-backed USDP had also donated about USD 440 for a local school and promised the same amount again if the party wins in next month`s polls, without saying whether it was USDP or government funds.

"This is unacceptable and against the election laws," the statement said.

The party also said that in the constituency of Kawhmu near Yangon where Suu Kyi is standing for a seat in Parliament, the names of 413 dead people were found on the voter list.

It said 1,387 other names of valid voters were left off the electoral roll and 259 names were listed more than once.

With its top ranks filled with former generals, the USDP claimed an overwhelming victory in a 2010 election that was marred by widespread complaints of intimidation and fraud.

Suu Kyi and her NLD party boycotted that vote, largely because of rules that would have required it to expel political prisoners from the party.

The pro-democracy leader herself was excluded from the 2010 polls because she was under house arrest at the time. She was released just days afterwards, having spent most of the past two decades in detention.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is standing for a seat in Parliament for the first time in the April vote, where 48 seats are at stake, not enough to threaten the ruling party`s majority.

The NLD also expressed concern about media reports that advance votes were already being collected ahead of the period set by the election commission.

Observers believe the regime wants Suu Kyi to win a seat in the April polls to give its reformist programme legitimacy and spur the West into easing sanctions against the country.(AFP)


First Published: Monday, March 19, 2012 - 19:10
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