Monday, September 25, 2017

Defeated Daw Nyo Nyo Thin files complaint against NLD

Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, an independent Yangon politician known for her outspoken views, has filed an election complaint with police against her victorious National League for Democracy rival and a campaign manager. Both have rejected her claims.

The dispute is the latest twist in a long and difficult relationship between the party and Daw Nyo Nyo Thin. She says the NLD asked her to represent it in the November 8 polls, only to later rebuff her and reject her application to rejoin the party.

As a result, the lawyer and current member of the Yangon Region Hluttaw ran as an independent in Bahan township for a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw. She lost to U Tun Myint by some 25,000 votes.

Her complaint focuses on a pre-election booklet produced by U Soe Nyunt, owner of the Royal Rose Restaurant, with the title “Why you should vote for U Tun Myint”.

She alleges that her personal dignity was tarnished and that the NLD election campaign team had sought to persuade people not to vote for women candidates.

“I opened a file against them according to section 58 of the electoral law in the police office of Bahan township within 15 days after the election,” Daw Nyo Nyo Thin told The Myanmar Times yesterday. The charge carries a potential two-year prison term.

The booklet, published by U Soe Nyunt, says he donated K1 million to U Thu Wai, chair of the Democratic Party (Myanmar), for the 2010 election campaign. Daw Nyo Nyo Thin won her Bahan seat in 2010 running for the Democratic Party, after quitting the NLD due to its decision to boycott the vote. The booklet said Daw Nyo Nyo Thin won her seat with the support of the NLD, although the party had boycotted that election.

She later left the Democratic Party over a dispute with its leader and established herself as an independent who challenged the regional government and stood up for women’s rights.

The NLD booklet named U Tun Myint as the best candidate based on his reputation and activities in the democracy movement.

“The booklet made me very disappointed,” said Daw Nyo Nyo Thin. “I don’t even know about these cases written in that booklet. It’s a fabricated story. I did not receive money from anyone in the 2010 election. I need to clarify that point according to the law.”

She added that the NLD canvassing team had tried by various ways to persuade people not to vote for female candidates using what she alleged was unlawful propaganda.

She said she had asked the NLD campaign team and party leaders to apologise and explain about the booklet before she made an official complaint, but that she got no response. “As a lawyer I can’t ignore unlawful matters,” she said.

The NLD campaign team denied the allegations and insisted their election activities were lawful. “The booklet was aimed at helping our candidate win by explaining how the NLD did give support for others involved in the democracy movement. Also there was no word that said, ‘Do not vote for Daw Nyo Nyo Thin.’ Instead we said, ‘Vote U Tun Myint.’ We can say vote for our candidates,” said U Soe Nyunt.

He said he published the booklet with the permission of party leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who had discussed the matter with lawyers.

U Soe Nyunt said they had not received any call or official letter from Daw Nyo Nyo Thin related to the booklet. Moreover, he said they had not received any official information about her complaint from the police so far.

“If the police inform us, we are ready to face the complaint. There is no need to avoid facing up to this case as we did everything correctly,” said U Soe Nyunt.

U Tun Myint also said he was ready to contest the complaint. “I campaigned within the law. There was no need to use unlawful ways as our party already got support from the people,” he said.