ALD: Re-registering the party will not hurt Arakan’s national unity

By Maung Rammer
Rangoon: Re-registering the Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) that won the majority of votes in the 1990 elections in western Burma’s Arakan State will not hurt national unity in the region, said a senior leader of the party.

U Aye Tha Aung, the general secretary of the ALD, told this to Narinjara while many Arakanese are speculating that the party’s re-registration will have negative effects on national unity in the region.

“We will continue to strengthen national unity after re-registering our party. We will also hold talks with the present Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, after then we will know how we can work together for our national interests. It will not be happen like people are worrying that national unity will be ruined if our party re-registers because our party is also striving for national unity and national interests”, said U Aye Tha Aung.

The RNDP emerged as the major vote wining party in 2010 election in Arakan State as there was no other Arakanese national party, including the ALD competing in the election except the military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Many Arakanese are now speculating and calculating that there will become two major national parties in their region if the ALD registers again, and their national unity as well as their votes will be divided and the middle strong parties such as the USDP will sweep away the winning votes in the coming election that will be held in 2015.

“We have not held any formal organizational talks with the RNDP yet, but we have had individual talks with its leaders. After registering our party, we intend to hold formal talks between our parties”, said U Aye Tha Aung.

He said his party has decided to be registered as a political party again with the ambition to strive for building a federal union that can guarantee the rights of the ethnic nationalities and internal peace, though the party together with the NLD did not register for the 2010 election so as to oppose the 2008 constitution drawn by the SPDC military regime.

“We have said that our party would be registered when the political prisoners who include U Khun Htun Oo, Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi were freed from the prison. Now that they are freed, we plan to register our party, but we have no intention to contest the coming by-elections”, said U Aye Tha Aung.

He said that his party is now collecting the biographies, agreements and photographs from its members in Arakan State as preparations to register the party after the coming by-elections are finished.

The Arakan League for Democracy was established on 27 September 1989 in Rangoon based upon the Arakan National Union that was born in Arakan State during the nationwide democracy uprising in 1988 in accordance with the rules declared by the then military regime “State Law and Order Restoration Council” and was registered with the then election commission on 2 October 1989. It won 11 seats in Arakan State in the 1990’s election, but never had a chance to take office, and it was later forcibly abolished by the Burmese military regime on the charge that it failed to submit its list of central committee members to the election commission.