Suu Kyi Tells Her MPs They Depend on Party’s Image

By Thiha Lwin 24 August 2020

Naypyitaw—The National League for Democracy (NLD) candidates have won in previous elections, not because of their personal accomplishments, but because of the party’s image, the NLD chairwoman told her lawmakers in Naypyitaw on Sunday.

“When the people choose the representatives of the NLD, some think that they are elected because of their accomplishments,” she said.

“I dare say that no candidates were elected because of their accomplishments but because they were representatives of the party. I want you to be aware of that,” she added.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she did not intend to discourage the candidates but just to make them aware that people have supported them because they represented a party with a history of democratic struggle, and not because of their achievements.

As most of the current lawmakers will run in the November general election and return to their constituencies in September for electoral campaigning, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave them campaign advice.

She asked them to follow party rules and the health guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Sports to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The campaign period will begin on Sept. 8. You must work with the attitude that you seek electoral victory in the interests of the people. You must also keep in mind that you run in the election for the sake of the rule of law,” she said.

NLD Upper House lawmaker Dr. Zaw Lin Htut said he accepted her advice to lawmakers and that candidates would follow the steps of their leader.

“I accepted what Mother Suu said. We have been good followers under the good leadership of Mother Suu for five years since 2015. We will also try to be her good followers this time,” he said.

The NLD won a landslide victory in 2015, not because of the party’s image but because of the public trust and support in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, said political analyst Dr. Yan Myo Thein.

A percentage of voters might have voted for the NLD due to the activities of individual candidates but Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s image played the key role, he said.

The Sunday meeting was also attended by vice-chairmen U Win Myint and Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, central executive committee members and patrons, including U Tin Oo, U Win Htein and ex-president U Htin Kyaw.

The NLD was established in September 1988. It won a majority in the 1990 general election but the military regime declined to approve the results. The party boycotted the 2010 general election, the first poll since 1990. However, it contested the 2012 by-elections and won 43 out of 45 seats ahead of its victory in 2015.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.

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