Nationalist party demands its candidates pay $220 to compete in election

A party founded by nationalsist former general Soe Maung has announced it is only standing candidates who have paid a 300,000 kyat ($220) fee to cover their campaign expenses.

A spokesperson for the Democratic Party of National Politics (DNP) told Myanmar Now that the party had selected 150 candidates who were able to front the money.

“A person who’s going to serve the country doesn’t have any credibility if they can’t put in three lakhs for the election,” Zaw Wait said. “We don’t accept people like that. We’re really prioritising our country and we want qualified people.”  

The party will not be contributing towards the candidates’ expenses, he added.

Soe Maung, served as a President’s Office Minister during the Thein Sein administration and is a former Judge Advocate General for the Tatmadaw. He is also chair of the nationlaist Ra Hta Pa La Association.

The DNP bills itself as a “party built with brave members dedicated to taking risks for the nationalist cause”. The party’s first and main policy is nationalism, Soe Maung said at the launch of the party held at the Orchid Hotel in Yangon last year. 

Zaw Wait said the party only had about 1,200 members when it launched in February 2019 but now has over 400,000 members.

The party’s candidates will be running for seats in Ayeyarwady, Mon, Magway, Kayah, Shan and Mandalay.

Soe Maung ran in the 2015 election as a USDP candidate for Yesagyo township in Magway, but lost to NLD’s Toe Shwe by over 30,000 votes. He will be fighting for the same constituency in November.

There are 6,889 candidates representing 94 political parties and 280 independent candidates competing in the poll, the Union Election Commission has said.

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