Election party regulations set

(DVB) The administrative requirements of political parties who want to register for elections in Burma have been announced by the government, and include party fees and membership conditions.

Parties who are competing in elections at administrative division level must have at least 500 members, while those who are taking part in the national elections must have 1,000.

Furthermore, it will cost 300,000 kyat ($US300) to register each party, according to the regulations, while each party head can have a maximum campaign war chest of 10 million kyat ($US10,000)

Existing political parties will have to register by mid-May or otherwise they will automatically lose their status as political parties.

But the conditions this year are different to Burma’s last elections in 1990, according to the head of the Democratic Party (DP), Thu Wei. Before, he said, parties were not required to pay a fee or register.

He said however that the fee should be within the reach of the majority of parties who are looking to compete, although DP may have to “consider the number of parliamentary candidates in our party depending on the fee per candidates”.

Another potential candidate, Thein Tin Aung of the Union Democracy Party, said that the registration fee could be difficult for those “forming a political party with about 15 relatives or friends”.

“This [election] will be different to the 1990 elections where political parties bloomed like mushrooms and we had father and a son or a group of friends forming a political party,” he added.

Only a handful of parties have so far registered since the laws began to trickle out in state media last week.

The principal opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which won a landslide victory in 1990 which the ruling junta never honoured, is yet to announce whether it will participate.

The laws ban party leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running for office, and require the NLD to expel her if it wants to compete.

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