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NLD will stick with Shwegondaing Declaration, says Win Tin


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Win Tin, senior leader of Burma's main opposition party the National League for Democracy told Mizzima today that although Burma's military government has begun issuing laws concerning this year's national election, his party will maintain its stand that the regime must recognize that the NLD won Burma's last election.  

"The result of the 1990 election must be recognized. That was one of the resolutions from the Shwegondaing Declaration. The result has to be recognized by one way or another. Our political stand and demand is the same as mentioned in the declaration", said Win Tin who is also a member of NLD's Central Executive Committee.  wintin-nld-party1

The Shwegondaing Declaration issued by the NLD on the 29th April 2009 demands that the Burmese military regime release all political prisoners, recognize the results of the 1990 election, review the 2008 constitution and begin dialogue with NLD party leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma's ruling military regime ignored the NLD's demands and instead is moving forward with this year's planned election. Today the regime issued a potentially restrictive Election Commission law that would severely limit the ability of main opposition party NLD to participate in elections. The regime has also indicated that over the next few days they will issue more election related laws. 

The law for the election commission also abolished the previous election commission that oversaw the 1990 elections. Win Tin maintains that the result of the 1990 election, in which the NLD won 392 parliamentary seats out of a total of 485 seats, is not changed by the new law.

According to Win Tin, the NLD will decide whether or not to take part in this year's election if the military regime recognizes the result of the 1990 election.  Win Tin, now 81-years old was released in September 2008 after serving 19 years in prison, much of the time spent in solitary confinement. 

According to Thailand based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners - Burma (AAPPB), there are more than 2100 political prisoners presently jailed in Burma, including more than 430 members of Win Tin's NLD.

Mizzima has received an advanced copy of the law for the registration of political parties that will likely be released tomorrow.  The law bans anyone serving in jail from forming political parties or even becoming a member of a political party. This clause effectively bars a large number of the regime's political opponents.  The party registration law also stipulates that national party must have at least 1000 members and 15 founding members.  Regional Parties must have at least 500 members.  

Under the law a political party must be registered with the election commission within 60 days of the March 8 national election commission law's official proclamation. A party also must contest at least three parliamentary seats in order to avoid de-registration.

Dr Tuja, leader of the Kachin State Progressive Party, which has agreed to take part in the 2010 election, believes that when the Burmese government issued a new Election Commission law the results of the 1990 election were automatically voided.

"This newly promulgated law for Election Commission has abolished the SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council)'s Election Commission that was promulgated in 1988. It automatically abolishes the NLD's demand to recognize the 1990 election result", Dr Tuja told Mizzima.

Others observers strongly disagree, Naing Tin Aung from the Mon Democracy Party, argues that irrespective of the new election laws the Burmese military government needs to release all political prisoners and amend the 2008 constitution.

"We will consider whether to participate in the elections or not only after necessary preparations are met. An election can be held only after the constitution is amended based on democratic norms. A majority of people do not accept the constitution in its present form", he told Mizzima in a phone interview.

The new constitution which guarantees a permanent role for the military in national affairs was approved by what many agree was a sham referendum held just a few days after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma's delta areas and Rangoon in May 2008.  Independent observers and political opponents of the regime widely criticized the constitution as "undemocratic" because it ensures that 25 % of the seats in parliament are reserved for military personnel appointed by the military's supreme commander.  The constitution also contains a clause that would prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from serving in government because she was married to a foreigner.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 20:54 )  

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