The Irrawaddy

USDP Chairman Accuses NLD of Hypocrisy, Incompetence

USDP chairman U Than Htay.

NAYPYITAW — The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has accused the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) of spending public funds as if the money were its own since taking power two years ago.

USPD chairman U Than Htay also accused the NLD of distorting his party’s image, an apparent reference to the public perception that the USDP — created from the Union Solidarity and Development Association to contest the 2010 general elections — was a proxy of the military.

He said everyone from farmers and daily wage earners to top businesspeople were facing difficulties and uncertainty because the ruling party lacks clear policies.

“The public knows that [the NLD-dominated Parliament] has rejected questions by the people’s representatives and that the [NLD] has infamous officials,” he said in an opening address to a USDP youth conference in Naypyitaw on Tuesday.

USDP spokesman U Nanda Hla Myint said the party chairman was referring to former Planning and Finance Minister U Kyaw Win, who resigned last week amid a corruption scandal, former Magwe Region Minister U Nay Myo Kyaw, who reportedly resigned over an extramarital affair, and former Rakhine State Minister U Min Aung, who was impeached by state lawmakers.

“A Mon State minister resigned today. He was facing complaints over financial matters,” the spokesman said on Tuesday.

The President’s Office has accepted the resignation of Mon State’s minister for electricity, energy and industry, U Min Htin Aung Han.

“[The NLD] made the same accusations against the USDP in the past. In fact, it is only concerned with individuals. [The NLD] said its government won’t embezzle at all and that all of its lawmakers are capable. But take a look at the reality. [The NLD] distorted the image of the USDP and said we embezzled and we weren’t capable,” said U Nanda Hla Myint.

Monywa Aung Shin, a member of the NLD’s Central Executive Committee, said his party did not hide its skeletons in the closet and takes action against any law-breaking members.

“U Than Htay is always saying things like that. It will only contribute to his downfall and the downfall of his party. We never speak recklessly. We only talk with facts. We never talk without facts,” he said.

“Our leader [Daw Aung San Suu Kyi] allows no room for error. If somebody does something wrong to the people, she will summon and warn or punish him,” he added. “Everyone knows how much public funds they [the USDP] have embezzled.”

Monywa Aung Shin said the NLD government was not pursuing retroactive punishment of ministers who served during the USDP’s time in power, however, in the interest of national reconciliation.

The USDP says it is still deciding whether to contest by-elections scheduled for November because it has no trust in the Union Election Commission. The NLD says it will contest all seats up for grabs.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.