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Election to be three-horse race: NPA

By Kyaw Thu
August 16 - 22, 2010

THREE political parties will fight it out for the majority of seats at the general election later this year, a veteran politician has predicted.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), National Democratic Force (NDF) and National Unity Party (NUP) will be the strongest at the election because of their financial resources, support or popularity among voters, said U Ohn Lwin, a politician who will also participate in the election.

U Ohn Lwin, who is the spokesperson for the National Political Alliance, said the USDP has potentially millions of members and was financially well-backed, while the NDF was gaining in strength as more and more former National League for Democracy (NLD) members join its ranks.

The USDP is led by incumbent prime minister U Thein Sein and includes most government ministers.

Under the 2008 constitution, the military will automatically receive 110 seats in the Pyithu Hluttaw, or 25pc of the total.
The other 330 seats will go to elected representatives, with one candidate from each of the nation’s 330 townships.

A further 168 seats will go to elected candidates in the 224-seat Amyotha Hluttaw, or upper house, while two civilian candidates will be elected to the State or Regional Hluttaw from each township.

Dr Than Nyein, chairman of the NDF, said in an interview earlier this month the party had about 100 candidates lined up and was “trying to recruit 150-200” altogether.

Both the USDP and NUP are expected to field candidates in almost every township where the election takes place, although NUP officials have also said funding is an issue for the party and they may have to restrict candidates to seats they believe they have a chance of winning.

U Ohn Lwin said his party would focus on the State and Regional Hluttaws and the Amyotha Hluttaw. The party aims to field candidates in 40 to 50 constituencies at the election.