Rakhine party pledges to take up op­po­si­tion man­tle

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

AN eth­nic mi­nor­ity party is seek­ing to po­si­tion it­self as the demo­cratic op­po­si­tion to the rul­ing Na­tional League for Democ­racy in par­lia­ment. The Arakan Na­tional Party, the most suc­cess­ful eth­nic party in last Novem­ber’s elec­tion in terms of seats won, says it will crit­i­cise the gov­ern­ment and the NLD, both in par­lia­ment and out­side.

Pyithu Hlut­taw MP U Pe Than (ANP; Mye­bon) said his party, which holds 12 seats in the lower house and 23 seats in the Rakhine State leg­is­la­ture, will speak up about the gov­ern­ment’s weak­nesses be­cause no other party is do­ing so.

The NLD wiped out the for­merly rul­ing Union Sol­i­dar­ity and De­vel­op­ment Party, win­ning large ma­jori­ties last Novem­ber in both houses of par­lia­ment and nearly all states and re­gions. In many parts of the coun­try, the only sig­nif­i­cant op­po­si­tion re­sides with the 25 per­cent of seats al­lo­cated un­der the con­sti­tu­tion to the mil­i­tary.

“I will point out the weak­ness of the gov­ern­ment be­cause the num­ber of MPs in op­po­si­tion to the gov­ern­ment is Arakan Na­tional Party MP rather small,” U Pe Than told Times yes­ter­day.

Be­fore the elec­tion, op­po­si­tion led The Myan­mar by the NLD to the USDP was ac­tive and vo­cal. But few voices are be­ing raised against the gov­ern­ment now, he said.

“NLD law­mak­ers don’t crit­i­cise the NLD gov­ern­ment and they are not al­lowed to talk to the me­dia. Our party will point out the weak­nesses of the gov­ern­ment as much as we can,” U Pe Than said. “The bet­ter the op­po­si­tion, the bet­ter the gov­ern­ment.”

A ma­jor ANP ob­jec­tive is to work for the de­vel­op­ment of Rakhine State, he said, adding that the party’s MPs would hold sep­a­rate meet­ings to dis­cuss con­di­tions in the state and the coun­try as a whole.

“Our MPs will meet in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other eth­nic peo­ples to point out the weak­ness of the gov­ern­ment,” he said.

A lack of in­fra­struc­ture is one fac­tor that has led to Rakhine State’s un­der­de­vel­op­ment, and many young peo­ple leave the state in search of work over­seas. The MP said he wanted to create more job op­por­tu­ni­ties back home.

“If there are job op­por­tu­ni­ties, our Rakhine na­tion­als abroad will come home. We’re fo­cus­ing on questions of re­gional de­vel­op­ment in this hlut­taw ses­sion,” he said. Another goal is to re­duce con­flict among eth­nic groups, thus strength­en­ing se­cu­rity and estab­lish­ing greater eco­nomic, so­cial and in­ter-re­li­gious sta­bil­ity.

Dis­miss­ing the gov­ern­ment’s re­cent 100-day pro­ject, U Pe Than said it was too short a time­frame to ef­fect real change. “The time was too short and the legacy of bad gov­ern­ment too long. The gov­ern­ment will have to con­tinue its ef­forts for far longer to over­come the ill ef­fects left by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Plunged into dis­ar­ray by the scale of its de­feat, and with most of its MPs turfed out of their seats, even the for­mer rul­ing party has been re­strained in its crit­i­cism of the NLD. For­mer USDP Amyotha Hlut­taw MP U Nu told The Myan­mar Times on Au­gust 3, “The gov­ern­ment needs time to do what it wants to do. It can’t be rushed. We just have to wait and see.” – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

and Emoon

‘NLD law­mak­ers don’t crit­i­cise the gov­ern­ment and they are not al­lowed to talk to the me­dia.’

U Pe Than

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.