USDP’s manipulations to win in elections

September 10, 2010

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which was formed from a so-called civilian social service organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), and plans to win in the 2010 national election by any means.  The USDP is composed of retired military commanders from the current military regime, who stepped down to take up the guise of civilian leaders, and lower ranking  SPDC members. 

Additionally it is based on the support of USDA members countrywide, in order to win in the election.
The USDA, wich was formed in 1993 by the current regime, holds SPDC chief Senior General Than Shwe as its patron.  While SPDC restricted the political activities of other opposition political parties, including the National League for Democracy (NLD), famously led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and the newly formed ethnic parties, the USDA has been free to set up its offices in all townships and districts with the government’s support.

Currently, the USDA claimes a membership of nearly 20 million in a country wide population estimated at nearly 50 million. However, it does not know for sure whether these USDA members are strongly supportive of the USDP, as many USDA members have been coerced to join. Yet, if compared with other political parties, the USDA has better opportunity to engage in political campaigning during the election.  They simply need to inform all their members countrywide to vote for the USDP.

They have also already been telling all village headmen of villages in Mon State to vote for the USDP, then, in turn, they give favors, as the current government well remain in power even after the elections. USDA leaders, to gain votes for USDP candidates in every township, also approach government servants and retired servants.

Additionally, the USDA also offers many types of business opportunities to their members and businessmen as a way of buying votes from them.  They have sold mobile hand phones to their members and businessmen at lower costs in order to get the guarantee of votes from them and their families.

At the same time as this campaigning, the SPDC has forced well-known community leaders, such as school headmasters and headmistress, medical doctors, and teachers to be USDP representatives in their local areas.  These leaders are then forced to organize voters in the communities.  Some of these community leaders are popular in the community, and they have been promoted to be a USDP party candidates to win against other parties.

If the USDP wins in the elections, the SPDC will transfer their power to the USDP to form a government.  If other parties win, they will refuse to transfer power, such as in the case of the NLD when it won by a landslide in the 1990 election.  In this way the government has guaranteed its self a win in this 2010 election.
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