The National League for Democracy (NLD) sent a formal invitation to CALD to attend and observe its General Assembly on 8-10 March 2013, the first in 25 years, marking it as a historic development for the party. The NLD’s central executive commmittee members will convene around 1,500 delegates to elect a new chairman, develop a new party structure and formulate a policy framework that the party will adhere to as it moves towards the 2015 elections.
Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP, chair of CALD and leader of the Cambodian opposition said, “I will happily attend this historical event, which is of great importance and significance not only for Burma, but for freedom fighters and democracy-loving people watching from all over the world.” Rainsy also serves as the President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, Cambodia’s united democratic opposition, which is also gearing up for the upcoming July 2013 elections.
The invitation to CALD was communicated by the NLD Information Department during the recent visit of the CALD secretariat in Burma. Mr. Celito Arlegue, executive director, and Mr. Paolo Zamora, senior program officer, travelled to Yangon and Naypyitaw last 18-22 February to explore possible avenues for cooperation between CALD and NLD and to invite NLD to take part in CALD’s 2013 activities.
In Nyapyitaw, the capital city where the Parliament is located, they met with NLD Members of Parliament led by U Win Htein, MP, who participated in the ALDE-CALD Meeting in Brussels, Belgium and attended the CALD Conference on Pluralism and Development in Bali, Indonesia. Also present in the meeting were Dr. Myo Aung, MP and U Naing Ngan Lin, MP, both delegates to the CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions in Bangkok, Thailand. The list of CALD programs for the year was handed over to Win who personally informed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, MP, NLD Chairperson, about the upcoming events and how to further strengthen future communication and cooperation.
Arlegue and Zamora also met with U Tin Oo, NLD Vice Chairperson, at the NLD party headquarters in Yangon. They discussed the possible changes in the party structure after the General Assembly, the strategies the party would hope to adopt vis-à-vis international and regional cooperation, and the possible workshops CALD could conduct together with NLD, with a focus on the area of training youth and women.
The visit also provided an opportunity to touch base with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Office, which set up an office earlier this year in Yangon.
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This post was written by CALD