by Salai Pi Pi
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 20:56
New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Burmese military junta-backed civilian organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) in Chin state, has completed its list of members, who will contest in the ensuing general elections in 2010.
Sources in the opposition party – the National League for Democracy – in Hakha town, capital of Chin state, said the USDA had completed preparing the list of possible candidates from the nine townships in Chin state, and were ready to submit the list to their central office.
“The USDA office from Hakha has already received a list of candidates from all townships and are planning to submit it to their central office,” the source said.
The source said, the USDA had nominated four candidates from Hakha Township, five from Thangtlang Township and one from Falam Township. However, he failed to describe the numbers selected from other townships. Candidates who are nominated by the USDA to contest in the 2010 elections include prominent figures such as That Mang and Tialhnin from Hakha town, Dr. Hmuthang from Thangtlang town and Kap Tial from Falam town.
That Mang is a former chairman of People’s Council under the Socialist regime ruled by Gen Ne Win and is a member of the junta’s handpicked delegates to the National Convention. Tialhnin is a former secretary of People’s Council in Hakha town and a retired officer of the Education Ministry.
Dr. Hmuthang from Thangtlang town is a Member of Parliament elected during the 1990 elections and was a delegate to the National Convention, which the NLD had boycotted and called a sham. Kap Tial from Falam town is an advocate and was also a delegate to the National Convention.
All of them are members of the USDA.
Even as the source from the NLD said, the USDA are sending their list of possible candidates to their central office, Thatmang denied knowledge of any such list.
That Mang said he was not aware of the USDA’s list saying, “Nothing is sure until the electoral law is announced.”
But he did not rule out the possibility of contesting the 2010 elections.
Meanwhile, in Hakha town, the USDA led by its General Secretary San Cung launched a fresh movement for recruiting retired civil servants as its members.
“They [USDA] asked the people to fill up membership forms,” the source said.
A retired civil servant, who is also nominated to be a candidate in the 2010 elections, said, “I just filled the form as they asked me to do so.”
The USDA was established by the Burmese military supremo Senior General Than Shwe in 1993, and the junta claims that it is the largest civil society in Burma with a membership of over 20 million.
Several Burmese observers have speculated that the USDA is likely to transform into a political party and contest in the elections.
However, an USDA official in Hakha earlier told Mizzima that his organization would not convert into a political party.
“We will not nominate any one as a candidate for the USDA, but we cannot rule it out if people want to choose anyone from our group to lead their party,” he added.