Nay Pyi Taw, January (29)
Other political parties and ethnic political parties, with the exception of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), have struggled to survive as a result of the military council’s Political Parties Registration Law, party representatives told Than Lwin Times.
The Political Parties Registration Law, which requires 100,000 party members and K100 million in party funds, was enacted on January 26 with the signature of the Chairman of the Military Council, General Min Aung Hlaing.
According to Section 5 (f) and (g), if the party will carry out organizational activities across the entire Union, the personal undertaking that at least 100,000 party members will be mobilized within 90 days after granting of registration as a political party and the party shall have a party fund amounting to K100 million.
Similarly, if the party will only conduct organizational activities within the region or state, it must have a K10 million party fund and 100,000 party members.
The Arakan National Party (ANP)’s chairman U Tha Tun Hla told Than Lwin Times, “We, the Arakan National Party, are a party registered to carry out organizational activities nationwide. According to the law that has been enacted now, it has become quite difficult to register as a party in order to do that. In the previous general election, the ANP contested in Ayeyarwaddy, Yangon and Chin state, including Rakhine state.
Regarding the military regime’s new party registration law, Mann Aung Pyae Soe, the chairman of the Karen National Democratic Party (KNDP), said,” If you want to establish a political party, you must follow the instructions, but there may be difficulties. We will have to have the discussions within the party,”
According to the new party registration law, if the party will carry out organizational activities across the entire Union, the personal undertaking that the party offices will be opened in at least half of the townships across the entire Union within 180 days after granting registration as a political party; or if the party will carry out the organizational activities only within the region or state, the personal undertaking that at least five party offices will be opened within 180 days after granting of registration as a political party.
General Secretary of the Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) Sai Laik, believes that this law prevents any other political party from running at the union level except the USDP.
The law also stated that the applicant shall not be serving a prison term and not belong to any insurgent organization or any organization or individual that has been designated by the authorities.
Therefore, the top leadership of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was arrested and sentenced to prison due to the law enacted by the military council, and the NLD party may automatically be disqualified from running for election.
The law stipulates that the party that will carry out organizational activities across the entire Union must contest in half of the constituencies, and the party that will carry out organizational activities only within a region or state must run in at least one constituency.
U Pe Than, a veteran politician and former MP, sees this law as restricting the parties that will compete nationwide in parallel with the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), and the military council enacted the law to prevent a party from forming a government.
The existing parties that are desirous to continue as political parties under this Law shall apply to the Commission within 60 days from the date of promulgation of this Law. If no such application is made, the fact of being a political party shall be deemed to have been automatically invalidated, it stated.
According to the information of the Union Election Commission, there are 91 political parties in the list of existing political parties, and it is said that some ethnic political parties may remain after the military council’s law is issued.
However, the politicians pointed out that the role of political parties could be completely lost due to the fact that no party except the military-affiliated parties can be registered in the entire Union according to the new party registration law.
News-Than Lwin Times