NLD calls for No vote in national referendum

Apr 2, 2008 (DVB), The National League for Democracy released a statement today urging the people of Burma to go to the polls and vote No in the national referendum in May.

NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win said the party had released the statement to clarify its position on the referendum.

"We are urging people to vote No at the referendum. That's what the statement is mainly about," he said.

U Thein Nyunt, a member of the NLD special information unit, said the constitutional referendum was an issue of major importance for Burma.

"This is not an ordinary matter; this is a matter of presenting a basic constitution, which will have a lot of influence on the life and death of the country and the people," Thein Nyunt said.

"And the constitution is not even a legal one written by elected members of parliament," he said.

"It is also an unfair process which lacks the participation of the people and all concerned parties. So the people have to show their courage, under the protection of the law, and take up the responsibility given to them."

This is the first time the NLD has officially stated its position on how it believes people should vote in the upcoming referendum.

Activists had called on the NLD to issue guidance on the referendum, with opinion divided between those who support a boycott or sabotage of the vote and those who are calling for people to vote No.

The NLD statement puts the party in line with other pro-democracy groups urging a No vote, including the All-Burmese Monks Alliance, the 88 Generation Students group and the National Council of the Union of Burma.

The Burmese regime has been pressuring people into supporting the constitution in the forthcoming vote.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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