NLD MPs 'Highly Unlikely' to Swear In on Monday

By Nyein Nyein 20 April 2012

Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), announced on Friday that its MPs are “highly unlikely” to participate in the swearing-in ceremony at Parliament on April 23 as it has received no confirmation that the government will change the wording of the oath its representatives have to pledge by.

Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Rangoon headquarters, spokesman Nyan Win said, “It is not sure yet whether the NLD’s elected MPs will attend the April 23 parliamentary meeting.”

The NLD has proposed a rewording of the oath—which all new parliamentarians must swear to—from “abide by and protect the Constitution” to read “abide by and respect the Constitution.”

Nyan Win said that he had met with members of the Constitutional Court on Thursday and that “they did not say that they will not change” the wording of the oath.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Friday ahead of his press conference, Nyan Win said, “The Constitutional Court explained the legal perspective in terms of changing words in the oath.”

Soon after, when he addressed the issue with reporters, he said that he did not argue or discuss the issue, but “just listened to what the Constitutional Court had to say.”

The NLD spokesman said the party is now planning to submit letters regarding its position on the oath to the president’s office, to both the Upper and Lower Houses, and to the Constitutional Court.

“We will try to resolve the issue,” he said. “We are trying to avoid a political deadlock.”

Meanwhile, the NLD is continuing with a four-day training program in Rangoon for its 43 MP-elects who must wait to see if the oath issue is resolved before they travel to Naypyidaw for Monday’s ceremony.