Spurned NDF Sees Future in Govt Oversight

By Zue Zue 3 December 2015

RANGOON — After failing to win any seats in last month’s election, the National Democratic Force (NDF) has vowed to continue its political activities by setting up an oversight group to monitor the activities of the next government.

The Political Monitoring and Evaluation Society of Myanmar (PMESM) was announced on Nov. 9, the day after the poll, and its leadership is comprised of unsuccessful candidates from the NDF. It expects to begin its activities in January, shortly before elected candidates take their seat in the next parliament.

“Mainly, we’ll be constructive and aim for the public interest,” said Kyaw Thura, who failed to win the Lower House seat of Kyauktada in downtown Rangoon last month. “We won’t be the opposition to the new government, but we will stand up for people against things which are unacceptable to the majority of citizens and which can harm the interests of the people.”

Htet Aung Kyaw, who had unsuccessfully contested a divisional seat in Rangoon’s Latha Township, said the group so far had a membership of over 200 people.

Other parties that unsuccessfully contested the election say that they were not inclined to join the monitoring group until they had a clearer idea of its purpose and function.

“We’ll have to wait and see if their actions will really contribute to the new government of the victorious party and future development of the country,” said Aung Moe Zaw, the chairman of the Democratic Party for a New Society.

“I think it is too early to give comment now as it has not even been established. We’ll wait and see what they will do before deciding whether or not to join them.”

The NDF, composed largely of erstwhile members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), broke with their former party in 2010 as a result of the NLD’s decision to boycott that year’s election. The party won 16 of the 161 regional and Union seats it contested in 2010, but failed to pick up any of the 13 seats it sought in the 2012 byelections.

In 2011, three lawmakers broke away to form the New National Democracy Party, which also failed to win seats in the Nov. 8 poll. A number of other NDF lawmakers defected to the NLD soon after that party swept the 2012 byelections.