Thursday, September 21, 2017

NUP marks 23rd anniversary, calls for unity

Political parties including the unregistered National League for Democracy should work together for national reconciliation during the present period of political transition, the general secretary of the National Unity Party said last week.

Speaking to reporters on September 24 ahead of a ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of the founding of the NUP, U Khin Maung Gyi said the party was “optimistic” about the meeting between President U Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw last month.

“Both sides had to have an honest attitude for that meeting to happen … they met to discussed for our country’s interests, they know how to implement [activities by finding] common ground,” he said.

He said he didn’t believe the government was using Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to gain the ASEAN chairmanship. He added that the Indonesian delegation due to visit Myanmar next month to assess the political situation ahead of the ASEAN Summit in November would speak to not only government but also civil society organisations and other non-government groups.

U Khin Maung Gyi also said the NUP plans to compete in by-elections later this year.
“It will more free and fair. We are preparing to compete in about 25 of the 48 constituencies,” he said.

“But the problem is that we have heard [the by-elections] will held in November. This is the busy time for farmers, who form the bulk of our political support. We mentioned that the UEC but still don’t know when it will be.”

The party won the second-largest number of seats in last year’s poll, with 61 successful candidates.

Following the press conference, party members marked the 23rd anniversary of its founding with a ceremony at the NUP headquarters in Bahan township. The party was formed in 1988 by former members of the Burma Socialist Political Party (BSPP) and contested the 1990 election, winning 10 seats. It has branches across the country but was mostly inactive for the two decades leading up to last year’s poll.

Led by former deputy commander in chief of the armed forces, U Tun Yi, the NUP has 23 central executive committee members. The party’s political motto is to “serve the people”.