VOA Burmese Blog

September 30, 2010

Burma’s Disbanded Opposition Party Celebrates Anniversary

– VOA News

Hundreds of members of Burma’s disbanded National League for Democracy gathered in the house of the opposition group’s second leader Tin Oo in Rangoon Monday to celebrate the founding of the NLD 22 years ago.

Many party members who took part in the ceremony were successful candidates in the 1990 election, in which Aung San Suu Ky’s NLD won a landslide victory.

The ruling military never recognized the results of that election and the party was not allowed to form a government.

NLD head Aung San Suu Kyi has been under some sort of detention for 14 of the last 20 years. Last week, officials added her name to a supplementary voters’ list, meaning she will be allowed to vote in elections on November 7. However, she told her supporters last month to boycott the polls.

Aung San Suu Kyi is still prohibited from being a candidate. Her party was effectively dissolved earlier this year after refusing to register for the elections, which it says are unfair.

The vote will elect 498 people to a national Parliament and another 664 will be spread among 14 regional legislatures.

Opposition parties say they have not been able to enter as many candidates as they want because of restrictive election laws and high registration fees.

The National Democratic Force, made up of former members of the NLD, says it will only be able to present about 140 candidates compared to the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which will have candidates for all 1,162 seats.

Critics say the election is a sham and that the military shows little sign of giving up control.


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