The military proxy party’s effective leader U Aung Thaung told a gathering of party members in Lashio yesterday that elections were held last November, because overt transfer of power to his party “would have looked unseemly”, according to sources close to the party.
U Aung Thaung, who is known to be an intimate of retired junta leader Senior Gen Than Shwe, was also said to have claimed, “All the three sovereign powers: legislative, executive and judicial, have been vested in the (Union Solidarity and Development) Party.”
He promised that “since we have learned the strengths and weaknesses of each township, the USDP will be a runaway winner in the next elections (in 2015).”
Speaking on Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released on 13 November, following a 7 year house arrest, he said she had been allowed to engage only in activities “that will not damage us”.
U Aung Thaung, accompanied by former Northern Region Command Commander Maj Gen Maung Maung Swe, is leaving for Muse and Namkham an the Sino-Burma border today.
The USDP, formed out of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDP), supposedly a Civil Society Organization founded by the ruling military junta in 1993, is headed by ex-General Thein Sein, who was elected as President in March. Since then, the party’s day to day affairs have been reportedly handled by regime stalwarts such as Aung Thaung and Htay Oo.