Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Democracy Network formed in wake of Pathein's NLD resignations


Former members of the National League for Democracy from Pathein township in Ayeyarwady Region have formed a social organisation, Democracy Network, after resigning from the party over the organisation of the party’s national assembly.

The network was formed on October 27 with a ceremony to formally take down the party flag from its former Pathein head office, from where the network will now operate.

About 130 members resigned in late October after serving the party for more than two decades. The 132 members formed the social organisation to help carry out health, education and other social activities in Pathein, said U Nyunt Hlaing, one of the founders of Democracy Network.

“We don’t want to form a new political party because we love the NLD but we can no longer work with the leaders. That’s why we organised this social network here,” he said.

Up to 500 NLD members had been expected to resign in the township but U Nyunt Hlaing said many were still hesitant to leave, despite their unhappiness over the national assembly.

The members resigned because of conflict with the party’s head office over the decision to selected new, rather than long-serving, members to lead the township and sub-township assemblies.

“I heard that some people are still unsure whether they should resign. Anyway, we have organised this social organisation and we will continue our work through it,” he said.

Democracy Network will assist with students’ education, open libraries, provide support to farmers and help with healthcare issues in Pathein township. Some of the members are teachers and doctors, U Nyunt Hlaing said.

“We’ll use the former NLD office as our Democracy Network office. We took down the NLD flag on October 27. Many NLD members in Myaungmya and Labutta visited on that day,” U Nyunt Hlaing said.

The Democracy Network will hold its first meeting this week to elect central executive members, plan activities and source funding.

“The NLD head office has still not responded to us about this issue so we announced what we are doing to them through a report and the media.”