NUP member IDs issued in Maungdaw

Identity cards for members of the National United Party (NUP) have been issued in Maungdaw Township on the western Burma border by township NUP leaders for the party’ s election campaign, said a former NUP member.

“The membership ID cards are being issued to party members in Maungdaw Township after the party registered with the Election Commission on 29 March. The NUP is now into election activities in Maungdaw Township,” he said.

The Maungdaw Township NUP is led by U Kyaw Aye, the former president of the Maungdaw Township Burma Socialist Programme Party, but most of the other party leaders in the township are Muslims.

“The NUP is now stepping up its campaign among the Muslim community in the township because they are a majority in the area and Muslim votes will be the key in deciding the elections. Muslim leaders, who were former village chairmen during the time of the BSPP, are supporting the party,” the source added.

The township NUP committee members are now visiting many villages to woo local Muslim residents to support the party in the election.

A Muslim businessman from Maungdaw said, “Some Muslims have joined the NUP but not every man because our people seem to dislike the party. However, I cannot tell you, which party is the most favoured among the Muslim community in Maungdaw at present.”

Even though the NUP is stepping up its election campaign, the party has not yet declared who it will nominate for the Maungdaw constituency.

Meanwhile, two prominent Muslim businessmen – Aung Zaw Win and Aung Naing – who are close associates of junta generals are now mobilizing the Muslim community to support the USDA party in the township.

According to a source, even though the USDA party has not yet registered with the Election Commission, the party central committee in Maungdaw Township has already been formed under the supervision of the two businessmen.

Many believe that the NUP and the USDA parties will be the main contenders in the election, despite being pro-military junta parties with close ties with the current regime, said sources.

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