Myanmar Junta Orders MPs to Shun Parallel Govt and Affiliations

By The Irrawaddy 14 June 2021

Myanmar’s military regime has written to political parties and lawmakers warning them against involvement with the National Unity Government and its related organizations.

The letter bans all contact with the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), National Unity Government (NUG) and People’s Defense Force (PDF). The regime has branded them as terrorist organizations.

The CRPH was formed mostly by National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmakers who won seats in the 2020 general election but were prevented from taking their seats by the Feb. 1 coup. The CRPH set up the NUG, which includes ethnic groups, to rival the military regime. The PDF was formed to organize armed resistance to the regime.

NLD lawmakers received the letter from regime-appointed township administration councils on June 8.

A letter seen by The Irrawaddy asks MPs to sign a statement that they will not deal with the CRPH, NUG or PDFs, which the regime has designated as terrorist groups.

It threatens anyone breaching the rules with arrest.

The letter stated that those who won seats in the 2020 general election “don’t have the right to officially stand as parliamentarians”.

It also warns of consequences for those who fail to report back in time.

The NLD’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) responded: “Only the regime which violated the 2008 Constitution itself and committed treason and rebelled against the will of the people is an illegal, terrorist organization.”

The CEC said designating elected lawmakers as lacking the legal right to stand as parliamentarians and forcing them to sign a confession is illegal, meaning there is no need to comply.

“As a representative chosen by the public, the lawmakers must strike to uphold the duties and responsibilities entrusted to them by the people,” the CEC stated.

CEC member U Aung Kyi Nyunt, who chairs the CRPH, said most NLD lawmakers have defied the regime and faced arrest and prosecution.

The call has also been made to other political parties.

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) spokesman U Sai Leik said the party received a letter in February demanding that it sign a pledge to avoid any contact with the CRPH within a week or risk prosecution.

Last Thursday, the police, Bureau of Special Investigation and general administration department questioned the SNLD staff in Yangon about whether the party had violated the Political Parties Registration Law.

Under the law, any party with links to terrorists or unlawful associations shall be abolished.

“Our chairman U Sai Nyunt Lwin had to sign a statement saying none of the party’s CEC and elected lawmakers have had any contact with the [NLD’s] groups,” U Sai Leik said.

He said the party’s township offices later experienced similar pressure.

“I don’t have any dealing with the NUG, CRPH or PDF. But I won’t sign a statement,” said U Sai Tun Aye, who was elected in 2020.

Arakan National Party spokesman U Pe Than said the party signed a statement pledging not to contact the groups.

The People’s Party, Democratic Party and National Democratic Force were also recently interrogated by the regime.

The regime said it will hold a new election. Its Union Election Commission chairman, U Thein Soe, said the NLD will be abolished because “it plotted illegally” to win the 2020 election.

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