NLD MPs fight for right to exist in top court

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – National League for Democracy members of Parliament on Thursday filed a lawsuit with Burma’s Supreme Court seeking a writ against dissolution of the party and to declare that the members of Parliament can still legally maintain their positions, party leaders said.

The NLD move was designed to head off its dissolution under the junta’s new political party registration law, which required parties to re-register within 60 days of May 6 or be dissolved as legal entities, a party spokesman said.

The law also rendered invalid the positions of Members of Parliament elected in the 1990 election. That injustice had forced the NLD to seek a court order to declare the MPs’ right to exist and call the original 1990 elected Parliament, he said.

Lawyers Kyin Win, Khin Htay Kywe and Kyaw Ho, visited the court to file the suit at 11 a.m. on Thursday and Su Nge, the deputy director of the Supreme Court, accepted their documents at 1 p.m.

The leaders were responding to party general secretary Aung San Suu Kyi’s urging for members to continue pursuing legal actions against the junta. Twenty-six members of Parliament elected in the 1990 election, including party chairman Aung Shwe, were listed as plaintiffs in the filing, the spokesman said. Sanchaung Township MP Khin Maung Swe and Kyauktan Township MP, Dr. Than Nyein, who had pushed for the party to re-register with the Election Commission, joined them.

The court would release its decision on whether it will hear the case on April 30 at 1 p.m. If the court accepts the lawsuit, the two cases will be handled individually, the spokesman said.

Although NLD won 392 of 485 seats in the election 20 years ago, the junta has refused to transfer power to the party.

Observers said the action would almost certainly be ineffective as Burmese court decisions were always in step with the junta’s wishes.

Nyan Win said, “All I want to say is that we will take every legal action against injustice.”

NLD had decided against re-registering with the Election Commission because of the junta’s exclusionary electoral laws. Just four of 10 parties that remain remaining from the 1990 election have applied to re-register with the regime’s electoral watchdog.

According to the party registration law for the 2010 election, existing parties and new parties must register before May 6. If they fail to do so, they will be dissolved.

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