Myanmar's NLD party not to take part in general election

21:22, March 29, 2010      

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The National League for Democracy (NLD) of Myanmar Monday unanimously adopted a decision not to re- register for taking part in the coming government-sponsored multi- party general election planned for this year, said party spokesman U Nyan Win.

With its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD General Secretary, 64, still under 18-month house restriction, the NLD made the decision at a special meeting held at its headquarters in Yangon and participated in by 113 executive committee members from its party branches based in 14 states and divisions except Kayah state.

U Nyan Win said the party rejected re-registration for the reason that the government's electoral laws are "unjust" and "one- sided", claiming that the party needs not get re-registered.

The meeting also demanded the release of its leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a dozen of its members from the central headquarters as well as other "political prisoners" in the country.

According to the new party registration law, enacted by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) on March 8, if political parties in existence since the 1990 general election fail to re-apply for legal status with the recently-formed Union Election Commission within 60 days to contest for the upcoming polls they would face invalidity or dissolution.

The party registration law is one of the five electoral laws promulgated by the SPDC. The other four are Union Election Commission Law, Parliamentary House of Representatives Election Law, Parliamentary House of Nationalities Election Law and Region or State Parliamentary Election Law.

The NLD remained as one of the 10 legal political parties in Myanmar after the 1990 general election.

However, according to the government's new electoral laws, the 1990 general election has become void, saying that the then election is "no longer in conformity with the new state constitution".

The Myanmar government announced a seven-step roadmap in August 2003 which mainly includes the reconvening of the national convention, drafting of a new state constitution, holding of a national referendum on drafted constitution, sponsoring the general election and formation of a new civilian government to which the state power is said to be transferred.

In line with the roadmap, Myanmar resumed in May 2004 the holding of the long-suspended constitutional national convention, which originally started in January 1993, to continue the constitution drafting process.

The drafted new state constitution was approved in May 2008 by a national referendum and the declared general election is to follow in accordance with the new state constitution.

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