You are on page 1of 3

Events of the Week 18 October 2009

This week, rather than commenting on the events of the week, it would be better to talk
about the “Political parties registration law” that will come out soon.

The Political Parties Registration Law


18 0ctober 2009

The chapter 10 of the 2008 constitution clearly states the basic foundations of a political
party as below:
§ 404: A political party shall:
(1) set the objective of non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of
national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty;
(2) be loyal to the State.

§ 406: A political party shall, in accord with the law, have the right in the Union to :
(1) organize freely;
(2) participate and compete in the elections.

The prohibitions are also stated clearly in the paragraph 407 as below:
§407: No right of continued existence of a political party:
(1)having been declared an unlawful association under the existing law;
(2) directly or indirectly contacting or abetting the insurgent group launching
armed rebellion against the Union or the associations and persons
determined by the Union to have committed terrorist acts or the association
declared to be an unlawful association;
(3) directly or indirectly receiving and expending financial, material and other
assistance from a foreign government, a religious association, other
association or a person from a foreign country;
(4) abusing religion for political purpose.

In the Political Parties Registration Law of 1988 (4/88), it included the 4 prohibitions
mentioned in the Paragraph 407 above, in addition, the following items are included as
well.

(1) an organisation that uses or accepts directly or indirectly money, buildings, vehicles
and other assets owned by the State
(2) an organisation formed by personnel enjoying monthly salaries from the State
Budget or personnel from the defence forces such as the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar
police force, public service organisations, State-owned economic boards and
corporations.

In the1988 law, it did not mention about how political parties must be financed which is
very important. Myanmar is a very poor country. A political party can not survive with
private funding alone. The state must help the political parties in order to avoid the illegal
flow of money and other facilities into the various elements of a political system :

1
this weekly report can be read at “http://letsworktogethers.blogspot.com/”
Events of the Week 18 October 2009

politicians, the administration and the government sponsored political parties.

Myanmar is a starter for democracy. The formation of political parties is very important for
the country. Therefore, the State should help the political parties during the Election
campaign as well as during the Non- Election period.

Funding of the Political Parties

As Myanmar are very poor, the political parties will find great difficulty in raising the
sufficient income to carry out their party functions and political activities. The Political
Parties Registration Law at least should grant “a direct public financing” to the political
parties.
The public subsidies can be “cash” or utilisation of state own building, media and other
materials with free of charge during and outside of the election campaign period.
Public subsidies in cash:
The public subsidies in cash is to be used for the training of the party members and leaders
as well as for the party activities across the country.
The law should guarantee the equality, the fairness and the transparency in the decision of
the amount of the allocated money between the ruling party or dominant party in power
and the other opposition parties.
Subsidies in kind:
The state can grant
– a state own building or house to a political party to be used as a Party Head Quarter.
– Utilisation of public transportation such as Bus, Train, domestic flight during the
Election campaign
– Utilisation of state own media during the Election Campaign
– the reimbursement partial or complete of Election campaign cost
In return, the political parties should report to the Nation on regular basic about their fund-
raising and spending of the money.
The “direct public financing” granted by the State will certainly help the political parties to
respect fully the prohibition number (3) of the paragraph 407 in the constitution.
The Private Funding:
The limitation of the private funding must be defined clearly in order to avoid the misuse
of the money among the politicians, political parties and the state administration. The
political parties should not be allowed to receive funds from private co-operation or private
companies.
Furthermore, the limitation of the amount of the donation from any individual to the
political parties must be clearly defined in the Law.

2
this weekly report can be read at “http://letsworktogethers.blogspot.com/”
Events of the Week 18 October 2009

Miscellaneous
– In the The Political Parties Registration Law, “a right of appeal” must exist for the
refusal of registration to a party or candidate.

Conclusion
For a poor country like Myanmar (State and People), Public subsidies for the political
parties may appear to be expensive, however, we should consider it as “ the cost of
Democracy” which is necessary to build “democracy” progressively in Myanmar.

3
this weekly report can be read at “http://letsworktogethers.blogspot.com/”