NLD to enlist ‘respected’ local residents to select MP candidates

A senior National League for Democracy (NLD) official has said the party will select MP candidates for this year’s election with the help of local residents who “have supported the NLD on the difficult journey to democracy.”

The announcement signals a shift since 2015 to a more open selection process. Before that election senior officials picked candidates in a closed-door process.

Speaking at a meeting of party members in Naypyitaw last week, central executive committee member Dr May Win Myint said this time the party would consult with “respected townspeople” to find “qualified and deserving” candidates.

She did not give further details as to how much sway locals would have or how the party would decide which residents have a say over candidates.

It is crucial that the party wins the election because the foundations of democracy and a federal union still need to be built, she told the meeting.

“It’s very important at this time not to make any mistakes so that we don’t need to start again from the beginning,” she said.

Dr May Win Myint urged the members to try hard for continuous support from the public.

The move may be a sign the party wants to vet its candidates better after receiving repeated criticism about statements made by its elected officials.

The chief minister of Bago division last week caused anger by blaming the Myanmar public for making the country unstable and therefore allowing the military to take power in the past.

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