Ex-Myanmar President U Thein Sein to Campaign for USDP Ahead of This Year’s Election

By The Irrawaddy 27 January 2020

YANGON—Former Myanmar President U Thein Sein will campaign for the country’s main opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) ahead of the upcoming general election expected late this year.

Former general U Thein Sein became president in 2011 after contesting the 2010 election under the military proxy USDP ticket. He was the president of the party until 2015.

However, the party only managed to win a humiliating 10 percent of the parliamentary seats in the 2015 poll, with the National League for Democracy winning 77 percent.

Currently, the former president is the chairman of the USDP.

U Nandar Hla Myint, a USDP spokesperson, told the media on Saturday that U Thein Sein would campaign for the party ahead of the upcoming election but didn’t disclose details of the activities he would take part in.

“As a member and former leader of the party, he feels he is responsible for its electoral success. So, he and other former ministers and vice ministers will join the campaign,” he said.

Early this month, U Thein Sein warned that the country is facing growing threats to territory, race and religion and called on citizens to vote for candidates who will protect the country in the upcoming general election.

The ex-president said at an annual event organized in his honor at the USDP’s headquarters in Naypyitaw that Myanmar would face both internal and external threats in 2020 because the country is “likely to be devoured by outsiders, under excuses of democracy and human rights.”

“We also have a good opportunity in 2020… A vote can be for the good of the country but it can also have negative impacts. It is important that the person we choose is someone with good morality, good education and goodwill for the country. More than that, the person must be someone who will protect our race and religion and look out for the military,” he said.

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