February 27: Speculation is rife that Burma’s various opposition groups will coalesce into yet another parallel government. On February 12, Burma’s Union Day, the main opposition group, the National League for Democracy or NLD, announced, however, that forming a parallel government was not part of its policies.
In fact, since 1990 Burma has had two governments existing simultaneously. The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, or NCGUB, was formed in exile in October 1990 because the ruling military government refused to recognize the NLD’s landslide victory in the May 1990 election. Elected members are led by Prime Minister Dr Sein Win, cousin of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi. However, rumors have begun to spread about a third parallel government forming in exile.
On February 1, the military government said at a press conference that Maung Maung, secretary of the exiled Federation of Trade Unions-Burma, or FTUB, was attempting to form another parallel government to rival the NCGUB.
In fact, in 2004 Maung Maung was elected secretary of the National Coalition of the Union of Burma, an umbrella organization composed of the political opposition as well as ethnic-based and armed groups in exile. Following the press conference, Burma’s state-run newspapers reported that Maung Maung was â€œtrying hard to get the Prime Minister post in his parallel government.â€
The reports alleged that Maung Maung had accused Sein Win of deterring the NCGUB from getting international contacts and aid. Maung Maung couldn’t be reached for comment, but a source close to the FTUB said the rumors were nonsense. Bo Hla Tint, a senior member of the NCGUB, also denied the junta’s report.
A senior opposition member said, under condition of anonymity, that among the myriad opposition members someone is probably pondering the creation of another government in exile, but would be unlikely to make a move for the time being. He added that Sein Win and his group seemed afraid of being removed from their positions since their leadership had not been effective.