Kyauk Pru: The Union Solidarity and Development Party, the proxy party of the current military government, has forced Arakanese people to join its party in order to ensure victory in the upcoming election scheduled for 7 November, according to local villagers.
One villager said, "The organizing department of Kyauk Pru Township's USDP ordered all village chairmen in the township to organize 50 villagers from each village tract for the USDP. Afterward, the village chairman in our village forced many villagers to join the USDP."
U Myo Han, secretary of the Kyauk Pru Township USDP organizing department, has been conducting the plan to compel residents to join the party in an effort to secure victory in the election.
Another villager from Zin Chaug Village Tract said, "U Myo Han came to our village in the last week to organize our villagers for the USDP. He met many villagers at the home of the village chairman and forced them to join the USDP."
In Kyauk Pru Township, the National United Party and Rakhaing National Development Party have been conducting wide campaigns to gain popular support for their respective candidates in the election. Within days of the party campaigns starting, the USDP began compelling people to join.
The USDP has conducted their campaign in every village in Kyauk Pru Township with the help of the village councils, known as Rayaka, as well as the people's militias and fire brigades.
According to villager sources, the USDP has also been collecting 1,500 kyats from new party members as entrance fees and to make member ID cards.
Some villagers in Zin Chaung and Sanae Village Tracts have been forced to join the USDP by the USDA authorities, even though they do not wish to be party members for a number of reasons.
The villagers said, "Most Arakanese people are opposed to the upcoming election. They also dislike the USDP because it is a proxy party of the Burmese military government that has oppressed the Arakanese people since gaining power in 1988. Additionally, it is a very busy agricultural season for Arakanese people, so everyone is worried about missing work days if they join the USDP."
The USDP is a political party that formed out of the USDA in order to separate itself from current government affairs, but the influence of the USDP is still high as the party remains controlled by government servicemen and village administration bodies.
6 months ago