USDP Vows to Bring Back Security-Related Laws if Reelected

By San Yamin Aung 3 June 2019

YANGON— The chairperson of the former ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) U Than Htay said his party will restore security-related laws that were abolished by the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party when they are re-elected, in a video released by his party.

At a rally staged by the USDP in Irrawaddy Region’s Eimme Township on Saturday, U Than Htay said the NLD revoked laws which are crucial for the country’s security after power was transferred to them in March 2016.

“With the emotion that they were aggrieved (jailed) because of those laws or other reasons, [the NLD] abolished around five laws,” he told the audience.

The NLD-dominated Parliament revoked some oppressive laws which were widely used to jail individual political dissidents under the successive military administrations soon after it convened in February 2016.

It repealed the 1975 State Protection Law, also known as the “Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts”; the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act; and provisions of the country’s Ward or Village Tract Administration Law which required citizens to report overnight guests to authorities.

U Than Htay said during the rally that because of the revocation of the laws, no one has information about how many foreigners are in the country and that local authorities can’t conduct inspections to find out that information either.

“When we come into government, we will inspect those issues immediately, ” he said.

USDP spokesperson U Thein Tun Oo, who was also present at the rally, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that it is necessary, for the sake of the country’s security, to review legislation regarding overnight guest registration and State surveillance.

Regarding State surveillance, the NLD-dominated Parliament enacted a new law in March 2017 to protect citizen’s privacy and freedom from State surveillance and intrusion.

The USDP, led by former military generals, was defeated by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD in the 2015 general election with the latter winning a landslide victory.

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