Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 28 Scenes
MoeMaKa, March 29 2023
March 28, a historic day for political parties
1948, March 28, was a milestone day in Myanmar’s history. It was the day when the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) went into the forest due to inside information that the Fasapala government (the regime ruled by the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League, AFPFL) was going to arrest them, and it was considered a milestone day when the civil war started after independence. The Communist Party of Burma called this day 4828 for short.
On March 28, 2023, the Union Election Commission (UEC), appointed by the military council, announced that 40 political parties were automatically dissolved according to the clause of the Political Parties Registration Law issued on January 26, which states that political parties that do not re-register within 60 days will be automatically dissolved.
The NLD party, which won the 2020 election by a landslide, is among those 40 political parties. The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), the third largest party or third-most elected party in the 2020 election, was also included.
It is not that the NLD party did not expect such an announcement. After the Political Parties Registration Law was issued by the military council, under the current situation of the party, and the situation of the number one leader of the party to set the policy, Aung San Suu Kyi, being arrested and not making any comments, and without anyone deciding to re-register the party, 40 members of the central executive committee and the central committee members from the CRPH and the NLD party in exile issued a statement that they would not re-register the party, would not recognize the election to be held by the military council, and urge to boycott it.
Therefore, the result of the party’s dissolution is a predicted result.
Before the 2010 election, the NLD also faced the choice of whether to register to stand as a party, and contest in the 2010 election or stand as a non-party organization. At that time, the Shwe-Gone-Daing Declaration was issued. It was decided not to register, and it stood as an organization until 2012, even if it was not designated as a political party. After being released from house arrest, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited and watched over the shelter on the outskirts of Rangoon for HIV/AIDS patients, run by the NLD and led by Ma Phyu Phyu Thin, a politician and HIV/AIDS activist. These are examples of what happened between 2010 and 2012, and the current situation is very different from what it was then. The current situation is a time when the coup military is trying hard to firmly grasp power, and it is a completely different situation from the period between 2010 and 2012.
Put aside the invalidation or not by the military council’s UEC, the NLD party has political paths to choose. Those are whether the NLD needs to continue to stand as a domestic party based on the local land in the current situation or take the name NLD abroad or in a liberated area permanently. It means whether the party will give the political leadership from abroad (or, in other words, from liberated areas) or the party will remain in a position just like a state where some animals hibernate without doing anything in general until the leaders who have been arrested and detained in the country are released.
This question may be a more important question than the effect of the announcement of the UEC appointed by the military council.