USDA campaigns secretly in Kachin State

The UnioThe Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) backed by the Burmese military junta, is into secret poll campaigns in Waingmaw Township in Kachin State, Northern Burma, since early June.

The USDP is mobilizing leaders in 48 quarters in Waingmaw Township and persuading influential elders to join the party.

“They are checking out persons they trust and making selections carefully,” said a teacher in the township.

Without the civilians knowing about it their township or quarter chiefs have put them on the members list of USDP, he said.

“There is no need to campaign among the civilians because they have all been included in the USDP members list by their chiefs,” said the teacher.

USDP leaders are also mobilizing Kachin Baptist church pastors and have put them in their members list. This, despite their reluctance because they are religious leaders and do not wish to be a part of any political organization.

Ironically, a lot of people are not even aware that they have already been included in the USDP members list.

USDP is into vigorous poll campaign around main townships in Kachin State as they are the only party allowed to do it. Other political parties such as the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) are awaiting approval from the Union Election Commission (UEC) to contest the election.

The USDP is providing CDMA mobile and land line phones connections to civilians while campaigning, alleged residents.

The KSPP, led by former Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) No.2 vice chairman Dr. Manam Tu Ju is still awaiting approval from the UEC. Leaders met Commission officials twice on May 7 and June 16 appealing for approval.

However, the UEC told the KSPP to wait for the approval to contest the election. Local people believe that KSPP’s tenuous links with KIO and the Kachin ethnic armed group refusing to accept the junta’s proposed Border Guard Force (BGF) are the main reasons for the regime denying approval so far.

Others awaiting approval are the Northern Shan State Progressive Party (NSPP) and a party led by Layawk Ze Lum, former general secretary of New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) which are representative parties of the Kachin people.

The junta-backed Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA) had over 20 million members in the whole country and the organization was transformed to the USDP on April 29 by USDA leaders including junta’s Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein to contest the forthcoming general election.

KNG News

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