NLD to hold meeting to decide if it will register as political party

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A total of 106 members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) from states and regions in Burma will meet with NLD leadership on November 18 in Rangoon to decide whether it will register as a political party or not.

Members of the NLD Central Committee met on Tuesday at Aung San Suu Kyi’s home on University Avenue Road in Rangoon and agreed to hold a party-wide meeting on November 18, spokesman Ohn Kyaing told Mizzima.

“All Central Committee members except members who were ill attended the meeting,” he said.

NLD vice chairman Tin Oo, General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi, and leaders Win Tin, Nyan Win, Han Thar Myint, Ohn Kyaing, May Win Myint, Than Tun, Hla Pe and Win Myint attended the meeting.

The party-wide meeting will be held at NLD headquarters on Shwegondine Road in Rangoon.

The meeting comes five days after President Thein Sein signed a law revising the Political Party Registration Law. Observers said the revision was designed to pave the way for the NLD to re-register as a political party. The NLD decided not to re-register to run in the 2010 election, saying there were elements in the new Constitution and party registration law that were undemocratic.

Recently, Suu Kyi, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that her party would consider re-registration after studying the amended registration law. Both Suu Kyi and party Vice Chairman Tin Oo were under house arrest when the former military regime announced the 2010 election and party registration law.

There have been intense debates within the NLD over whether to re-register as a party. Earlier, the decision not to re-register led to some top party leaders breaking away from the NLD to form a new political party, the National Democratic Force (NDF). The NDF won 16 parliamentary seats in the 2010 November election.

Recently, Labour Minister Aung Kyi said the government would welcome and work with a legal NLD. Suu Kyi said that she needed to consult the party’s senior members before making a decision.

Speaking to The Myanmar Times before the recent amnesty, Ko Ko Hlaing, a presidential adviser for political affairs, said the release of a substantial number of NLD members from prison could prove decisive.

In an interview with Mizzima, senior NLD leader Win Tin said last week: “We haven’t been satisfied yet with the political prisoners release. We have to wait and see, how the constitutional reform might happened, whether there is any attempt at constitutional reform, or if the NLD could promise to work for constitutional reform if the party leadership were elected to Parliament. I think we have to consider the possible outcomes.

“The party has an obligation to stand for its principles. But it depends on how the party leadership understands the situation and how it analyzes the possibilities. For me, it is hard to give a personal view. I think the issue must be considered by the whole party leadership structure,” he said.

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