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NLD lawmakers to take oath of office

(Mizzima) - Aung San Suu Kyi said on Monday the oath dispute preventing her party from being sworn into office as members of the Burmese Parliament has been temporarily resolved – although the contested wording has not been changed.  

NLD opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi   Photo: MIzzimaLawmakers-elect in her opposition party will take the unchanged oath of office on Tuesday, but the party will not drop its oppositon to the oath’s wording, which requires them to swear to “protect” or “safeguard” the Constitution. Suu Kyi will be sworn into office on Wednesday. 

Suu Kyi said she would not back down on the language issue, but for now has put it aside.

“Politics is an issue of give and take,” she told reporters in Rangoon on Monday. “We are not giving up, we are just yielding to the aspirations of the people.”

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) objected to the wording that requires them to “safeguard the constitution” - a document they have told the people in their campaign they would seek to amend because it was drafted under military rule and ensures the army inordinate power, the Associated Press reported.

The party wants “safeguard" replaced with “respect,” a change the government has made in other Burmese laws including the electoral law that enabled Suu Kyi's party to officially enter politics and run in the by-election on April 1, which its candidates won by a landslide.

On Sunday, Rakhine Nationalities and Development Party chairman Dr. Aye Maung and 18 other MPs met with Suu Kyi at her home and requested the NLD drop its oath opposition for now.

Addressing the question as to why Suu Kyi did not try to amend the wording of the oath before the by-elections, she said, “I failed to do it. I bear the responsibility. I want the desire of the people and our alliances not to be spoiled just because of my carelessness.”

Suu Kyi added that the NLD has decided to give in because the NLD’s demand to amend the oath is just a legal or technical affair and it does not want the oath standoff to lead to a political problem.

“We need to practically show that problems can be solved by cooperating and by give and take,” said Suu Kyi. NLD spokesman Ohn Kyaing told Mizzima that although the NLD gave up its demand to amend the oath, it will not give up its electoral pledges including an effort to amend the Constitution. “The NLD makes the decision to attend the Parliament [now] because we think that it will be better if political problems are solved calmly. The NLD political posture will not change. But, we will take the [unchanged] oath in accordance with their desire."

The oath issue raised controversy within opposition party politics and was questioned by some foreign-based Burmese groups, who wanted to see Suu Kyi and the NLD members-elect assume their role as members of Parliament.

“We are fulfilling the wishes of the people, because the people want the NLD to enter parliament,” Suu Kyi was quoted by the AP.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:52 )  

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