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Thein Sein spurs USDP ahead of by-elections

Speaking at USDP headquarters on 26 January 2017, former Burmese President Thein Sein urges the party to unite in efforts to win April's by-elections (PHOTO: DVB)

Burma’s former president, Thein Sein, has spoken out on behalf of the previous ruling Union Solidarity and Development Part (USDP),  urging it to ramp up its campaign ahead of by-elections in April.

“It is important for our party to win at these elections in order to return to our place in the nation-building process,” he said, addressing an audience yesterday at the USDP headquarters in Naypyidaw. “Only by winning, can we be represented in in parliament, and ultimately form a government. Then we can lead the people in rebuilding our country.

“I would like to urge you all to put your maximum effort and persistence into helping [USDP] win the elections,” he concluded.

The former military general was speaking at an event to celebrate his winning an Asia Cosmopolitan Award, presented by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, or ERIA.

There are presently 19 vacant seats to be fought over in April’s by-elections, and more than 90 candidates from 24 political parties have been registered to compete.

The polls will mark the first voting across the country since Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide in a general election in November 2015.