Suu Kyi′s party delays entry to parliament | News | DW | 22.04.2012
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Suu Kyi's party delays entry to parliament

The National League of Democracy in Myanmar has said it is postponing entering parliament because of a required pledge to "safeguard" the 2010 constitution passed by the military junta.

Myanmar's pro-democracy party led by Aung San Suu Kyi said Sunday it will postpone its entry into parliament over a dispute about the oath of office.

Parliament is due to be convened on Monday without the 37 members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including Suu Kyi, who won their seats in by-elections on April 1.

The oath the members of parliament are to take states that they will pledge to "safeguard" the constitution put through by the military junta in 2010. The party has directly asked Myanmar's President Thein Sein to allow them to pledge they will "respect" the constitution. Thein Sein is currently in Japan and had not responded to the request by Sunday.

"We are not boycotting, but we are just waiting for the right time to go," said Suu Kyi after a meeting on the matter in Yangon.

'We will enter parliament'

NLD spokesman Nyan Win said it was "100 percent certain" the NLD members would not join parliament on Monday, but added that he believed the issue would be overcome soon.

"We will enter parliament," he said. "This issue can be solved through legal means."

The NLD boycotted parliamentary elections in 2010, refusing to take a similarly worded oath required under party registration laws.The laws were changed and the NLD rejoined the political mainstream last year.

Thein Sein said during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that Myanmar, also called Burma, would continue its process of reform, including "focusing on further democratization," according to a Japanese official who attended the meeting.

Japan on Saturday agreed to forgive $3.7 billion (2.8 billion euros) owed by Myanmar and to resume financial assistance, which had been suspended. The European Union has reportedly also agreed to suspend all sanctions but an arms embargo on Myanmar for one year.

acb/jm (AFP, dpa)