Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League - Parliamentary Rule and AFPFL Split

Parliamentary Rule and AFPFL Split

With two short interruptions, Nu and the AFPFL remained in power until March 2, 1962, winning several parliamentary elections. The 1956 election results however came as a shock although the AFPFL was returned to office, as the opposition leftist coalition, known as the National United Front (NUF) and led by Aung Than, older brother of Aung San, won 37% of the vote with an increased number of seats in parliament. In 1958, despite an economic recovery and the unexpected success of U Nu's 'Arms for Democracy' offer that saw the surrender of a large number of insurgents most notably the PVO, the party split into two factions namely the 'Clean' faction led by U Nu and Thakin Tin (aka Nu-Tin faction) and the 'Stable' faction led by Ba Swe and Kyaw Nyein (aka Swe-Nyein faction). The political infighting resulted in U Nu narrowly escaping defeat in parliament over a motion of no-confidence by only 8 votes with the support of the opposition NUF. Still dogged by the 'multicoloured insurgency', the army hardliners' fear of the communists being allowed to rejoin mainstream politics through Nu's need for continued support by the NUF was compounded by the Shan Federal Movement lobbying for a loose federation. The volatile situation culminated in a military caretaker government under General Ne Win that presided over a general election in 1960 which was won in a landslide victory by U Nu's faction renamed the Union Party.

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