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Major Shan ethnic party approved by Election Commission

(Mizzima) – The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) has been approved to organize as an official political party.

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy party chairman Khun Tun Oo. Photo: FacebookThe reorganization of the SNLD follows the release of leader Tun Oo from prison prior to the April 1 by-election.

The reorganization was approved by the Union Election Commission, the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported Wednesday.

The reformation comes after leader Tun Oo was released among the 651 prisoners under President Thein Sein's fourth amnesty order in January. His release was aimed at enabling the party to take part in national reconciliation and the future political process.

In an interview upon his release, he told Mizzima: “What our ethnic people want is equality and the self-determination right, but not to secede from the union. We know about that disease, and we have already had the medicine for that. So they need to resolve these political issues, not only sign peace agreements.”

The SNLD, led by Tun Oo, was automatically dissolved when it failed to reapply for party registration under the 2010 political party registration law.
After Tun Oo’s release, SNLD spokesman Sai Late told Mizzima, “We give first priority [now] to re-register the party and top priority for the health of party chairman [Tun Oo] and secretary [Sai Nyunt Tin].”

The SNLD won the largest number of parliamentary seats in Shan State in the 1990 general election and won the second highest number of seats in the whole country.
Tun Oo and nine other Shan ethnic political figures were detained in February 2005 on charges of forming an organization that worked for “disintegration” of the country and opposition to its seven-step roadmap to democracy. He was sentenced to 93 years in prison.

The SNLD was the second most winning party after the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the 1990 general election.

The SNLD, along with the NLD, decided not to take part in the 2010 general election. After Tun Oo's release, it said it did not have enough time to prepare for the April 1 by-elections.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 May 2012 16:21 )  

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