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Suu Kyi: Party Symbols to Remain for Public Display Post-May 6

24 April 2010: The risk of becoming a legally defunct entity post-May 6 should not deter the National League for Democracy (NLD) from keeping its party signboard on public display and flying its flag at its headquarters, detained popular leader Aung San Suu Kyi has told her followers.

The message was conveyed through her lawyers who met with the detained leader Saturday. The meeting took place around 3:00 p.m. local time at Suu Kyi’s residence where the Nobel Laureate has remained locked up for much of the last 20 years.

The National League for Democracy, which won a landslide victory in Burma’s last democratic elections in 1990, now faces the prospect of being legally obsolete after it opted out of new elections planned by Burma’s military junta for later this year.

In choosing not to re-register the party, the NLD has pointed out the unfair electoral laws, which effectively put most of the leading junta’s rivals at an unfair disadvantage, including the NLD and ethnic-based parties that won significant chunks of parliamentary seats in the 1990. The electoral laws have also been the source of much international condemnation.

According to the new election laws recently enacted by the military regime, political parties wishing to participate in the elections later this year must register with the Election Commission by May 6, 2010. The regime has not announced the date for the elections.

Burma analysts believe the passage of the deadline to register will have meant that any un-registered political parties will, by virtue of the election laws, have become illegal, which will then give the ruling regime a freehand to orchestrate further crackdowns on opposition groups. The NLD, along with other pre-existing political parties, is bracing for a new wave of crackdown and repression.

© Chinland Guardian

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