Myanmar opposition says gov't appointments illegal

AP News
Posted: Mar 09, 2011 9:41 AM
Myanmar opposition says gov't appointments illegal

Myanmar's opposition said Wednesday that the country's president-elect has no right to start appointing ministers to his new government since he has not yet been sworn in.

The charge by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy was its second attack in less than a week on recent government actions and affirms its leading critical role _ despite having been official disbanded as a political party.

The government elected under the military's self-styled transition to democracy meanwhile has yet to be installed, more than a month after the country's first parliament in more than two decades was seated.

President-elect Thein Sein is a former general and prime minister under the ruling junta who heads the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which won a huge majority in last November's general election that critics dismissed as rigged in favor of the army.

Though parliament selected him as president on Feb. 4, he has not been sworn in yet. As such, the league says he has no right to appoint ministers, supreme court judges, the attorney general or parliamentary committee heads.

The group also said that legally registered political parties have the responsibility to point out unconstitutional activities. Meetings of parliament have been as brief as 30 minutes and are closed, leaving the impression that it is a rubber-stamp body for decisions by the military-dominated majority.

The league was officially dissolved last year for failing to register as a party to contest last November's general election, which it regarded as being unfair and undemocratic.

On Friday, it criticized a new law that allows Myanmar's military chief access to a special fund without any oversight from parliament. Suu Kyi's organization also slammed the government's recently released budget for allocating too much money for the military and not enough for social services.