Thu 29 Aug 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
The Union Election Commission (UEC) sent out warning letters to all political parties on August 23 stating that the Commission will de-register any party that accepts assistance in cash or kind from foreign countries.
The warning letter elaborates that as per Article 407 (c) of the 2008 Constitution, the EC may take up action against any political party and impose the maximum penalty of de-registering them if they accept foreign assistance in the name of the party or different branches of the party.
The EC further said that before issuing the warning letter, it sought opinion from all 51 political parties in July on this issue. 16 parties recommended the EC to set rules and regulations to allow political parties to receive foreign aid. 17 parties gave an opposing opinion of not allowing political parties to receive foreign aid in accordance with the Constitution and Political Parties Registration Law. The remaining 18 parties responded to the EC that they had no comment on the issue.
Lower House MP Khun Thein Pe from Pa-O National League Party told Mizzima, “Foreign aid should be permitted but the political parties should not accept foreign assistance as party funds. Foreign assistance should be accepted only for social works and aiding people through these parties. A regulation should be drafted and passed to address this issue.”
Lower House MP Phyo Min Thein from National League for Democracy said, “The law should not be bent at one’s will. We are now trying to amend some provisions in the Constitution as they are draconian with regard to forming a political party, qualifications and eligibility criteria of Presidential candidates. Furthermore, if the foreign aid are for social welfare and charity purposes, political parties should be allowed to accept them on the condition that they do not treat aid as party funds, as that would be violation of law.”