The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

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Exile Groups Support NLD Rejection of Registration

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Exiled political groups welcome the National League for Democracy decision not to register and take part in the Burmese election.
Several exiled political groups on Monday encouraged the National League for Democracy (NLD) to reject party registration and not take part in the Burmese election this year, saying they will continue to support the NLD leadership.

The NLD announced its decision to not register as a political party on Monday evening, after a day-long meeting of key members in Rangoon.

Aung Moe Zaw, the chairman of the Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS), on Monday told The Irrawaddy, “If the NLD supports Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's decision [not to register], we'll unconditionally support the NLD and the NLD itself will remain in a leading role among political groups.”

“If the NLD decides to register, it would be difficult for the exiled groups to accept the NLD's decision,” said Aung Moe Zaw.

The DPNS, founded in 1989, is one of the leading democratic parties in Burma's struggle for democracy, and it took part in the 1990 election.

Khun Myint Tun, a member of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, said,  “All the political groups in exile have agreed with the NLD's strong position, upholding the Shwegondaing Declaration. If the NLD continues to uphold its Shwegondaing Declaration, we'll continue to support the NLD.”

Meanwhile, NLD central executive committee members and about 160 party representatives from across the country, met on Monday at the party's headquarter in Rangoon to decide if the NLD would register as a political party to contest the upcoming election. If it fails to register, it could be dissolved.

“The majority of the NLD members across the country will decide against registration after Daw Aung San Suu Kyi clearly announced her opinion on the election,” said Moe Zaw Oo, an NLD (Liberated Area) foreign affairs committee member.

According to the election laws, all political parties must register or face  dissolution.

The NLD's decision is expected to influence the decision of many ethnic minority groups, including ethnic cease-fire groups.

David Htaw, a Karen politician and the general secretary of the Ethnic Nationalities Council, said, “If the NLD decides to register, the trust of all ethnic groups will suffer.”

He said the NLD will exist as long as it stands on the side of the people, and the international community will not be silent if the NLD is dissolved.

Dr. Naing Aung, the executive director of the Network for Development and Democracy, said, “The NLD, as a leading party, should go against the military government. We should boycott the 2010 election.”


Nyan_win80"Once her [Aung San Suu Kyi's] sentence expires in November, and that notion is not disputed, it is our understanding that she will have served her sentence."
—Nyan Win, the foreign minister of Burma


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