The Union Solidarity and Development Party, Burma’s ruling party are on a recruitment drive to gain party members in Karen State, according to local residents.
Local USDP members in Three Pagoda Pass area of Kyain Seikgyi Township in Karen State are campaigning in villages around the region to get more Karen to join their party.
An eyewitness to the USDP recruitment drive in Chaung Sone village, said the campaign team was led by USDP organizer, U Than Win, from the Three Pagoda Pass area.
“Their chief organizer, U Than Win, led the campaign. They [USDP] campaigned by promising that if people joined their party, they will be given business opportunities. They also said that they intend to form worker associations in Chaung Sone village. However, their campaign was not very successful as Chaung Sone villagers didn’t like it.”
A Three Pagoda Pass town businessman said that the USDP put on a show at developing in his area of the town.
“I saw people wearing USDP shirt repairing the road in our section. This road has been under repair for a long time and it has never ever been finished. We are only spectators in the game.”
Three Pagoda Pass township is a sub-township of Kyain Seikgyi where three candidates from three parties – U Saw Htunt Khaung Lwin from USDP, U Saw Kyi Aye from National Unity Party and Saw Terry from Plao-Swaw Democratic Party – competed for representation in the National and People Parliaments. In spite of the election commission declaration that the eventual winner was the USDP’s U Saw Htunt Khaung Lwin, rumours about advance voting and votes buying clouded his election result.
It was reported in August this year that an USDP official told Kawkareik Town residents that they will be giving out loans. A resident told Karen News that there may be loans but the will not be for ordinary or families in need.
“I was told the USDP will give s so I went to them and asked. They said to me that they will only give loans to people with concrete houses.”
Villagers say that although the election is over, a new government has emerged and the parliament is convening for the second time, the USDP are out campaigning to make sure they increase the membership of their party.