By Ahunt Phone Myat
An investigation is underway into the recent split of prominent Burmese opposition party, the National Democratic Force, after cracks emerged in its senior ranks.
The leader of the party, Khin Maung Swe, told DVB that he was summoned by the Union Election Commission on 2 May and explained the sacking of Central Executive Committee member Thein Nyunt.
He said the election body wanted “to learn whether the dismissal was decided systemically under the party’s constitutional regulations”.
Relations between Khin Maung Swe and Thein Nyunt had soured following the elections last year after the NDF requested permission from the Union Election Commission (UEC) to dismiss Thein Nyunt as a member. The party alleged that he had shared sensitive policy details with the media.
The two are former senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The NDF, which won 16 seats in the polls, broke away from the NLD last year in order to compete in the 7 November elections.
Khin Maung Swe aid the dismissal was within the legal rights of the party, while the UEC would examine whether Thein Nyunt could continue to operate under the banner of the National Democratic Force.
“[Thein Nyunt] said he will continue to work under the NDF title – as someone who is no longer relevant to a legitimate party, using its name and seal implies an attempt to disrupt the party,” said Khin Maung Swe.
Thein Nyunt has said he will accept the UEC’s ultimate decision. Last month he told DVB that “in no way” will his new faction, known as the Thingangyun NDF after the Rangoon township that he won a parliamentary seat in, will get back together with Khin Maung Swe’s group.