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Ethnic parties and politicians in electoral fray

Originally appeared in Mizzima

February 11, 2010

Some ethnic parties and a number of politicians are already in the election fray in Burma this year and are into an expansion mode and organizational work.

The Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) is seeking to increase the membership base, while some ethnic Chin politicians are into organizational work on the sly. However, the Mon Democracy Party is playing by the book and is awaiting the junta’s announcement of electoral laws and rules.

The KSPP, led by former Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Vice-Chairman, held discussions with members of the Women’s Affairs Committee and Youth Affairs Committee in Myitkyina on February 9. The aim was to expand the party organizational network, a KSPP source said.

KSPP boasts about 3,000 party members and 39 central committee members have been appointed. The CC members are put in place in 14 townships in Kachin State. Party offices have been opened in 10 townships in Myitkyina, Bamo, Moe Mauk, Man Shi, Wai Maw, Chi Bway, Moe Hnyin, Moe Goung, Tanai and Puta-O.

In much the same way newly emerged ethnic Chin politicians are secretly into organizational work in seven townships to contest the 2010 general election, Salai Sui Kha, General Secretary (1) of Chin National Front (CNF) said.

“They are into electioneering secretly because the electoral law is yet to be announced. Out of nine townships in Chin State, poll activity is evident in seven townships,” he told Mizzima.

The Moulmein based Mon Democracy Party is still in a quandary over contesting the polls but they are into animated discussions on their party policies and programmes even as they await the electoral law being enacted and announced, party spokesperson Nai Tin Aung said.

The Mon Democracy Party was formed with a 15-member organizing committee comprised of former central committee members of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and former members of the deregistered Mon National League for Democracy on 29 June last year.

Though some ethnic organizations and some Chin politicians are gearing up to contest the election, the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) are adamant in their demand to the junta to honour the 1990 general election results and to amend the 2008 constitution.

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This post is in: 2010 Elections, Campaign Updates

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