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Opposition will 'influence' parliament

NLD claims it will have greater voice with Suu Kyi and international attention

Aung San Suu Kyi at a campaign event in Mandalay last month Aung San Suu Kyi at a campaign event in Mandalay last month
  • John Zaw, Mandalay and Thomas Toe, Yangon
  • Myanmar
  • April 10, 2012
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The scale of its victory in recent by-elections will help give the National League for Democracy (NLD) and its charismatic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi’s significant influence in Myanmar’s parliament, according to party sources.

This is despite the opposition party being greatly outnumbered by the government-backed USDP and the military bloc which holds 25 percent of the seats, they say.

Suu Kyi and 36 other NLD by-election winners will take their places in the 440-seat lower house of parliament in Naypyidaw on April 23, party spokesperson U Nyan Win said yesterday.

The NLD won a further six seats in the April 1 poll. Four victors will take seats in the upper house, while the other two will sit in a regional chamber.

“Parliament will be more active when Suu Kyi enters and it will also attract the whole world’s attention,” chief party spokesperson and new Mandalay MP, U Ohn Kyaing said.

Asked how a minority can have influence in parliament, U Ohn Kyaing said that the public and the international community are watching closely, so the majority can’t easily ignore proposals from the opposition that are for the people’s development.

He said it remains to be seen what strategy Suu Kyi adopts with the USDP and military bloc.

Priority will be placed on winning internal peace based on federal law and the rule of law, he added.

The NLD won 43 seats out of 44 it contested.

U Win Tin 82, a senior party member and long-time politician said many NLD members have mixed feelings.

Although they are caught up in the joy resulting from their big win, the refusal by the junta to accept the 1990 elections result and the alleged plot against Suu Kyi’s life during a trip to Depayin in 2003 has many suspicious.

“Although our leader has a genuine heart to forgive all her enemies some want to expose the truth. I want to say that we will try to act according to the guidance of our noble leader, he said”

He insisted that it’s difficult to say whether further reforms come or not. But the will of the people is irreversible.

If the government tries to reverse it, the public and the international community will prevent it from doing so, he added.

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