Veteran Democracy Activists Say They Have Green Light to Register Party

By Zarni Mann 30 April 2018

MANDALAY — Veterans of the 1988 student uprising say the country’s highest election body has given them permission to begin the registration process for their proposed party, following criticism of their original name.

At a press conference in Yangon on Sunday, U Ko Ko Gyi said the Union Election Commission (UEC) informed him and his colleagues on Thursday that the Four Eights People’s Party could begin the registration process.

“We will go to Naypyitaw on May 2 and submit the required documents and list of party members, which are required for party registration,” said U Ko Ko Gyi, who rose to prominence during the 1988 uprising.

The party said U Ko Ko Gyi would be chairman and that U Ye Naing Aung would be vice chairman. It has yet to announce the members of its central committee.

“Our main intention is to join hands and cooperate with every institution for the peace and development of the country, and to create a national strategy for sustainable stability and development,” said U Ye Naing Aung.

They hope to have the party registered before the announcement of the next national by-elections, which would allow them to compete for at least three seats.

As part of the registration process, the UEC will publish the proposed party’s basic information in state-run newspapers. If no one objects to the proposed name, emblem and flag, the Four Eights People’s Party will be officially registered.

The proposed party’s original name, the Four Eights Party, was criticized by those who believed that 8888, the date on which the student uprising began, should not be appropriated by any political party because it belonged to the entire country as a symbol of Myanmar’s struggle for democracy.

UEC officials were not available for comment.