‘Ex-Gen.’ PM Leads New Political Party
29 April 2010: Burmese Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein who quit his generalship Monday has now become leader of the newly established Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP), according to a source in Rangoon.
“The USDP today applied for registration with the Election Commission with PM ‘U’ Thein Sein as its leader and 27 Central Committee members,” the source says.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any of the leading USDP members are cabinet ministers who resigned from their military posts early this week.
Over 20 senior officials in the Burmese cabinet quit their military ranks this week in what is widely seen as a carefully staged maneuver to ‘civilianize’ key military leaders in the run up to the planned elections later this year.
The USDP emerged out of the former Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), a junta-backed mass social organization. The transformation has been widely expected especially in light of the junta’s preoccupation to put on a ‘civilian face’ before this year’s election.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has reportedly approved registration for the National Unity Party (NUP), another pro-junta party that had contested in the 1990 elections.
© Chinland Guardian