Burma's main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), on Monday decided against registering for the general election this year, a party spokesman told The Irrawaddy.
“Without any objections, all the party leaders reached a consensus not to register the party and join the election because the junta's election laws are unjust,” said senior party official Khin Maung Swe who attended the meeting at the party's Rangoon headquarters. “We also agreed to call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners.”
Party officials said that the lawyer of detained leader Suu Kyi read out a message from Suu Kyi to the party leaders at the meeting and said that “Daw Suu could not accept the party registering under the unjust laws, but she said that neither she nor anyone else owns the party. Therefore, the party members have to make the decision by themselves democratically.”
The Obama administration has said that it is disappointed, blaming the generals, but will continue to "engage" with the military dictatorship. This policy, which even sounds a lot like Reagan's policy of "constructive engagement" with the apartheid regime in South Africa, emboldened the Burmese dictatorship to rig the elections with an election law which, among other things, would ban Suu Kyi from the party she leads in return for a chance to participate in "elections" whose outcome would be predetermined anyway.