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Rangoon: The Arakan League for Democracy, the Arakanese political party that received the third-highest votes in Burma's 1990 elections, will not register again until all political prisoners are released from jails across the country, said a senior member of the party.

"For better political situations all political prisoners should be released. Now there are many political prisoners remaining in jails and we are waiting for a better political situation in which all political prisoners are freed before registering our party," said U Aye Thar Aung, a senior leader of the ALD.

The ALD held a meeting among its elected members of parliament, central executive committee members, and senior members of the 17 township branches in Arakan State on 10 October.

"All of our members showed their eagerness to re-register the party in our recent meeting and we have already planned to do so, but we will not apply for our party's re-registration now, when manly political prisoners, such as ethnic leaders, student leaders, and so many other activists are still locked behind bars," said U Aye Thar Aung.

However, he said it is necessary for the ALD to be registered in order to continue its political activities.

"If we re-register our party, there are chances we can accelerate our activities of the party and national issues. Otherwise we have to keep on carrying out some of our activities quietly. It is not like that we are following whatever the NLD is doing. We have no desire to compete in the coming by-elections as the NLD has decided to do. But we would re-register our party at the time we are necessary to work for our national interests," he said.

Concerning the observation that existing Arakanese national unity would be shattered if the ALD re-registered - bringing two major political parties to the state, U Aye Thar Aung said the ALD will do its best for cooperation and not for competition for the national interests in Arakan State.

"We have taken special considerations into this observation. The RNDP won a majority of parliamentary seats in our state in the 2010 elections and we regard how the party is working hard representing the Arakanese people in the current parliament. We the ALD have also worked for our national issues over the past 23 years and believe that we are also obliged to work for our national interests and goals. If we would re-register our party, the we would mainly favor negotiations with the RNDP in order to work jointly for our common national issues," he said.

The ALD won the third-most votes in the 1990 elections in Burma, but was forcibly disbanded by the Burmese military regime that dubbed itself the State Law and Order Restoration Council after the elections.
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