Opposition party central committee announced

Burma’s main opposition party has announced the formation of its new Central Committee, now under the leadership of party chairman Aung Shwe.

The group is made up 108 members, 20 of whom belong to the senior Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The group had originally comprised only 100 people.

“We have announced that these people have been appointed as Central Committee members with the aim of more effectively carrying out future working procedures to strengthen the party,” said spokesperson Khin Maung Shwe. “The list included all 20 CEC members and the party’s regional members from divisions and states.”

The new committee incorporates NLD members from across Burma 14 divisions and states. Lower-ranking party officials had accused the NLD of not giving equal representation to divisional members.

“A condition is that the chairperson of the NLD shall also be chairperson of the group’s Central Committee,” Khin Maung Shwe said. The eight additional members are however currently imprisoned, along with 420 other NLD members.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who herself is under house arrest, said last month that imprisoned members must be included in the party’s senior command.

It comes as part of a wider reformation of the party, including the addition of younger members in the CEC. It is the first major shakeup in the party’s 20-year history, and one that analysts have said is long overdue.

Khin Maung Swe added that the group still has no answer regarding whether it will participate in Burma’s elections this year as the government is yet to announce the political party registration law.