“Democratic reforms could not be easily achieved. To get to where we are now, we had to struggle for more than 20 years. For the democratic transition to go smoothly, we need the support of our citizens and other like-minded entities. It is in this light that we welcome friendly relations with CALD, with which we share similar liberal and democratic values.”
These were the words of U Win Myint, Speaker of the Lower House of Myanmar Parliament, to the members of the delegation from the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) who travelled to Naypyitaw on 13 June 2017 for meetings with CALD observer party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). The Speaker, who also serves as NLD central executive committee member, drew attention to the long-standing ties between CALD and his party, particularly in light of Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary individual CALD membership.
The CALD-FNF delegation was led by CALD Chairperson Abhisit Vejjajiva. He was joined by CALD Secretary General Kiat Sittheeamorn, CALD Executive Director Celito Arlegue, FNF Head of Myanmar and Thailand Programmes Katrin Bannach, and FNF Myanmar Program Manager Aung Hein.
The delegation also met with U Win Htein, another NLD central executive committee member and chairperson of the party’s oversight committee. A regular attendee to CALD events, U Win Htein vowed to “move NLD’s relations with CALD to a higher plane”, and conveyed his appreciation for the support of CALD through the years. He also updated the delegation about current political developments in Myanmar, particularly in relation to the ongoing peace process.
“CALD recognizes the struggle of the NLD to institutionalize democracy in Myanmar, and its recent electoral successes are definitely a way forward to consolidate progress”, says CALD Chairperson Abhisit. “This visit is our way of recognising the critical role played by the NLD in the country’s democratic gains and in developing further the country’s nascent democracy.”
This post was written by CALD