NLD Sues Junta
The Irrawadday, Friday, February 29, 2008<!– , –>
By WAI MOE
Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has attempted to sue the ruling junta over the government’s failure to adhere to an existing law and decree that specifies that elected representatives from the 1990 elections should be responsible for drafting the constitution, according to a party official on Friday.
Nyan Win, a leading spokesman for the NLD, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the party filed a lawsuit against the ruling junta at the high court in Rangoon. “According to the electoral law of 1989 and decree 1/90, the junta has a responsibility to call a people’s parliamentary meeting with the elected representatives from the 1990 general election,” he said.
|NLD headquarters in Rangoon|
However, the military junta has never called a parliamentary meeting, and now the ruling generals have announced laws—1/2008 and 2/2008—for the referendum on a new constitution and fresh elections. This shows that the junta broke its promise as well as the law itself, said Nyan Win.
The high court in Rangoon, however, denied accepting a lawsuit by the NLD against the ruling junta. “The authorities at the high court took more than one hour. But later staff came and told us that they cannot accept the lawsuit,” Nyan Win said.
He added that the NLD told the court that the junta’s failure to call parliament was a national affair and that the case against the ruling junta was a matter of asking the court to respect the people’s voice.
The NLD had expected the court to reject the lawsuit, but the party proceeded because it wanted to adhere to the rule of law in the country, the spokesman said.
In a special statement on Thursday, the NLD dismissed the national referendum on the draft constitution, which is planned for May, because of its lack of legitimacy.
In the statement, the NLD said the draft constitution was “not inclusive and unclear,” because the Burmese military regime had not heeded the calls of the international community and the United Nations.
The statement also said that the planned national referendum would not be free and fair because the junta broke its promise to discuss the drafting of the new constitution with the representatives elected in the 1990 parliamentary elections.
The international community, including the UN and the United States, also called on the Burmese military junta to put in place conditions for “inclusive and transparent” voting, ahead of the constitutional referendum set for May.
Tom Casey, a US State Department spokesman, said in a statement on Thursday that a credible political transition in Burma must be inclusive and transparent.
“It must involve universal suffrage, secrecy and security of the ballot, and freedom of speech and association, among other internationally accepted standards,” he added.