Aung San Suu Kyi goes into parliament to start a new history for Burma
The people of Burma have cheered a bold decision made by the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday.
It is a positive instant for many citizens who hope for the emergence of democratic system in their country. Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her party decided on Monday to attend parliament by taking an oath to protect the constitution even though there is a different opinion about a wording.
In fact, the National League for Democracy (NLD) refused to attend on 23 April re-opening of Burma’s parliamentary session because of a row over the oath of office for representatives-elect. The NLD’s Chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi was along with 42 parliamentarians, elected from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in April in the by-elections. The NLD’s MPs want to take an oath using the word “respect”, rather than the wording of “safeguard” the constitution, which they state is undemocratic.
Burma’s state-run TV and newspaper publicized on November 6, 2011 that President Thein Sein has signed a law that amends three key areas of the Political Party Registration Law. Both houses of the Burmese Parliament had earlier endorsed the amendments.
In the previous law the wording said that all political parties must “protect” the State’s Constitution. In the amendment law the word “safeguard” was changed to “respect and abide” by the Constitution.
At that juncture, analysts believe that the expectation of amending the law is to pave the way for the National League for Democracy reregistering as a lawful party. According to those amendments on political parties, the NLD took part in the April 1 by-elections that was the first electoral contest of its public reputation in two decades.
The President Thein Sein government seems to take advantage of bringing Suu Kyi and her party back into the current parliamentary structure which would increase the government’s apparent legitimacy at home and overseas.
According to AP News from Yangon, Aung San Suu Kyi said she and other lawmakers in her opposition party will attend Burma’s parliament Wednesday for the first time. Besides, the group will take the oath of office though they still fiercely dispute its wording.
Suu Kyi said she was not backing down on the issue, however. “Politics is an issue of give and take,” she told reporters in the main city, Yangon, on Monday.
“We are not giving up; we are just yielding to the aspirations of the people.” - AP News reported.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) party also released a statement (No. 17/04/12) on Monday concerning the wording of the oath issue. The statement says that although the NLD representatives-elect have to take oath in line with the Article 125 (A) of the 2008 Constitution, their attitude of to “respect and abide” by the Constitution may not be changed.
Moreover, the statement says that they have determined to be present at the parliament, “as a gesture of respect to the wishes of the voters and also taking into consideration the requests made by members of parliament from ethnic democratic parties led by Dr Aye Maung of Rakhine National Development Party.
Suu Kyi’s current stance seems better poise in the reformist President Thein Sein and his cabinet in these days. She has met several Western governments’ leaders including British PM David Cameron and EU high-ranking diplomat Catherine Ashton. Suu Kyi also agreed to call for the suspension of European Union (EU) sanctions as a sign of optimism towards President Thein Sein and pro-reformists in his government. Last week in Luxembourg, the EU announced the suspension of most sanctions except an arms embargo against Burma for one year while it assesses the country’s progress, AP News said.
According to the media reports, Suu Kyi will have to meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Yangon on Tuesday or International Workers’ Day, which is a holiday in Burma. So, observers think the NLD’s Members of Parliament may attend assembly in order to take oath at parliament in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday.
People of Burma have been hopefully looking forward to see a new dawn of democracy in Burma, as the charismatic democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has made up her mind running in the parliament together with other ethnic and democratic parties to transform the country into a promising free state.
- Asian Tribune –