The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy has decided not to re-register at the junta-appointed Union Election Commission. The central committee meeting on 16 and 17 March made this decision.

Interview with Sai Leik, the General Secretary of SNLD party, talked about the reason not to re-register, future political activities, and the risk of party’s dissolution .    

TLT: Could you talk about the SNLD’s decision not to re-register?

Sai Leik: We have two reasons not to re-register. The first reason is we have no enough time to seek opinion of each party member. They are living across the country, such as in Shan state, Kachin state and Kayah state. There are some restrictions on security to visit them. We cannot complete it in two months. The second reason is   the election timeline has not been announced yet.

TLT: What do you imagine the possible dissolution of party and security of party member?

Sai Leik: We are not committing any offence by failing to re-register our party. Reluctance to re-register as a political party is not a crime or an offence. It is not violating the existing laws. So, we do not expect serious impacts on us.  There is no ground for taking punitive actions. On the other hand, it is concerned with the decision of UEC and its impartiality.

TLT: How will your unregistered party continue political activities in the future?

Sai Leik: Common responsibilities of a political party are to contest elections, to take part in drafting beneficial laws in parliament and to assist in administrative sector. However, due to prevailing situation of our country, any political party whether registered or unregistered for the election can serve for the nation. We can focus on peace-building processes, giving direct assistance to solve difficulties of people, and   carrying out research works for implementing federal democracy system in our country. We need to do these works.

TLT: Nearly 30 political parties have been registered at the junta’s election commission. They considered the election is a way out to break political impasse of the country. What is the view of SNLD on it?

SNLD:  We do not give any remark on their opinion. However, we have different view. The electoral politics that began in 1990 has ended recently. During this period, we saw only the changes of government and administration. They forgot to change system. Our country needs a change in system, rather than changing governments. Otherwise, we could not end civil war. It is just our concern.

TLT: What is SNLD’s message to the supporters?

Sai Leik: The SNLD party remains on the route to establishment of genuine democracy since it was first established. We are determined to develop the federal democracy. Without clinging to electoral politics, we will stand with people in other aspect of politics.

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