Ethnic Coalition Backs NLD Boycott Plans, Urges Others to Follow Suit
31 March 2010: The exile Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) on Wednesday says it welcomes the decision of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party to boycott the military-planned elections in protest of the unfair electoral laws. The statement came at the conclusion of the group’s annual meeting held on March 27-31 at a location on the Thai-Burma border.
The ENC, which is composed of representatives from Burma’s ethnic states, also urges other political parties to follow the NLD’s lead.
“It is important that the 1990 elections winning political parties continue to oppose the 2010 elections as the polls are only part of a process that will realize the regime’s Seven-Step Roadmap.”
It, however, notes that despite the limited options available to them leaders inside Burma must use the military planned elections to their best advantage.
The annual meeting was attended by representatives from each ethnic state coordinating body, along with their special advisory members. It reviewed the current political situations and laid down future plans.
“The meeting allowed us to build greater understanding and define clarity to our purpose. We are ready to move forward with new thinking and new energy for the people of Burma,” says Victor Biak Lian, the newly-appointed Secretary of Strategic Studies Department of the ENC.
The meeting also elected a new rotating Chairman. Colonel Htoo Htoo Lay of the Karen National Union (KNU) will now head the broad-based ethnic coalition over the next year.
The ENC declaration comes on the heels of the announcement over the weekend of the decision of the newly reformed NLD Central Committee, which unanimously agreed not to participate in the upcoming elections.