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Amended party registration law opens way for NLD to re-register

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burma's Lower House of Parliament in Naypyitaw on Thursday approved a draft law that amends three clauses of the Political Parties Registration Law including cancellation of the clause that restricted serving prisoners from being a member of a political party.

The amended party registration law clears the way for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy to contest candidates in the election.  Photo: Mizzima 
The new law does not restrict serving prisoners from being a member of a political party and requires all  political parties to contest in at least three parliamentary seats in an election whether it registered before the 2010 election or after.

Moreover, there was a change in the wording that all political parties must "protect" the country's Constitution. It was amended to "respect" the Constitution.

"There is a difference between ‘protect’ the Constitution and ‘respect’ the Constitution. We have to respect all rules of law and the Constitution," said the NLD spokesperson Nyan Win.

The amended act was approved in the Upper House on October 5 and sent it to the Lower House for approval.

Observers said the amendments are designed to pave the way for the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, to re-register as a political party. The NLD decided not to re-register to run in the 2010 election, saying there were elements in the new Constitution that were undemocratic.

The amended act now awaits the president's signature to become a law.

Recently, Aung San Suu Kyi, the general-secretary of the National League for Democracy, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that her party would consider re-registration after studying the amended registration law.

Both Aung San Suu Kyi and party Vice Chairman Tin Oo were under house when the former military regime announced the election and party registration law. Political parties had 60 days to comply.

There were intense debates within the National League for Democracy, which would have had to oust many of its members who were imprisoned, if it wanted to re-register as a party. The decision not to re-register led to some top party leaders breaking away from the NLD to form a new political party, the National Democratic Force (NDF). The NDF won 16 parliamentary seats in the 2010 November election.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 November 2011 15:50 )  

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