mar 3 2009

2010: a multy-party election ?

Kachin political party

to contest 2010 election

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Source Mizzima

by Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The ethnic Kachin people are trying to form a political party to contest the 2010 general elections in Kachin State.

The political party will be called ‘Kachin State Progressive Party’ (KSPP) and its members will be civilians. The party has not yet become a legal party, ‘New Democratic Army-Kachin’ (NDA-K) Chairman Zakhon Ten Yeng said.

“It is still in the planning stage. We have given a name to the party. The government promised to hold a multi-party election. We can’t say yet when this new party will become an officially recognized legal party. It will become a legal party only after the people endorse it. The name ‘KSPP’ is just our proposal which means ‘Party for Kachin State Development’. It has not yet reached the stage of being endorsed by the people and supported by the people,” he said.

“We should have a single and unified political party in Kachin State for all those who wish and initiate to form a political party in our State for the benefit of all the people living in this State regardless of their race and creed. We should have one and only political party with great unity and solidarity. We shall give our support to such a party”, he added.

The main aim of this party is to benefit all ethnic nationalities living in Kachin State, so that they can enjoy freedom in politics and development in Kachin State through a united effort, he said.

It is reported that the leaders of this KSPP party are Dr. Tuja, Vice-Chairman of Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Maj. Manchi Thein Saung, Deputy In-charge of NDA-K Liaison Department and Maj. Phone Ram from the KIA splinter group led by Lashan Awng Wah.

All these persons must resign from their party posts if this party is officially formed, he added.

“We must have freedom to organize if the party is permitted to be formed. We should exercise noble practices for the sake of our country and our region through free discussion,” NDA-K Chairman Zakhon Ten Yeng said.

The transition committee called ‘ Jingphaw Mungdaw Pranwan Komiti’ was formed in the middle of last year to contest in 2010 election with the ceasefire groups in Kachin State namely KIA, KIA splinter group Lashan Awng Wah, NDA-K and Kachin National Consultant Committee.

The members of all these ceasefire groups must resign from their party posts if they join this new Kachin political party as civilians, a Major from NDA-K said on condition of anonymity.

“They will join the political party as civilians and they don’t need to wear police uniform. All of them will become civilians and they are reportedly trying to avoid splitting into two to three political parties in the State,” he added.

“I think there will be a total of 15 persons with five persons from each group. I don’t know who will join them. They are coming to all townships and launching organizational tours,” he further said.

KIA is an ethnic Kachin armed group formed in February 1961 which reached a ceasefire agreement with the military regime in February 1994.

Independent candidates

establish network

to contest 2010 elections

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by Nem Davies
New Delhi (Mizzima) – Twenty five independent candidates set to contest in the Burmese military junta’s proposed general elections scheduled for 2010, have formed a network.

“We must certainly face 2010 elections, either as an independent or as a party in this multi-party election. We decided to contest as independent candidates. At the same time, we knew that we would be in a weak position, if we contested as independent candidates. So, we have decided to explore how to consolidate our position. Then I proposed a network and all the others agreed,” Nay Myo Wei, who hails from Bogale and is a member of this network said.

He frequently posts his opinion on the internet, criticizing the exiled movement.

All the network members have accepted the junta’s 7-fold roadmap and constitution, which was approved in the May 2008 Referendum.

According to the statement issued by this network received by Mizzima, there will be independent candidates, organizers and sympathizers, who will assist in contesting the elections.

The main opposition party ‘National League for Democracy’ (NLD) has called for reviewing the junta’s unilaterally drafted constitution and said contesting in this election was out of the question for them.

Party spokesperson, Nyan Win, said that if the constitution was not reviewed, it would legitimize military rule and would put the country into more trouble.

The independent candidates, popularly known as the Third Force, said that the politically competent candidates should contest the general elections and should educate the people on how to select their representatives.

“Even if we do not contest in this election, other candidates will appear and contest it. We should give a chance to the people to study their candidates and assess them on how qualified these people are for Parliament, how much they can develop our country, their ideology etc. So, we announced our plan to inform the people in time for them,” Nay Myo Wei said.

The network members said that they would present their aims and objectives to the people through the media. They also said that they would contest from either the Mingaladon constituency, Rangoon Division or Bogale constituency in Irrawaddy Division.

“We follow pluralism. We will join hands with all those who have different views and opinions. We will work together,” he said.

“We avoid ‘public politics’ since the public has quit politics. This is reality. So we chose ‘elite politics’, ” he added.