An­other year re­quired to unite Kayin par­ties into sin­gle po­lit­i­cal en­tity

The Myanmar Times - - News - MAUNG ZAW maungzaw@mm­times.com

A MOVE to unite all eth­nic Kayin po­lit­i­cal par­ties, launched af­ter last Novem­ber’s elec­tion, could take an­other year, one of the or­gan­is­ers says. Mahn Aung Pyi Soe, vice chair of the PhloneSqaw Demo­cratic Party (PSDP), said on July 2 that the process of uni­fi­ca­tion was about 65 per­cent com­plete.

Party lead­ers de­cided they had to unite into a sin­gle po­lit­i­cal en­tity af­ter not one of the 150 can­di­dates for the six par­ties won a seat last Novem­ber.

“We came to know the con­se­quences of hav­ing many Kayin par­ties at the 2015 elec­tion. We think it’s bet­ter to have just one party. It will take a year to es­tab­lish it af­ter re­unit­ing all the ex­ist­ing par­ties,” said Mahn Aung Pyi Soe.

The six par­ties are the Kayin Peo­ple’s Party, the Phlone-Sqaw Demo­cratic Party, the Kayin State Democ­racy and De­vel­op­ment Party, the Kayin Demo­cratic Party, the Karen Na­tional Party, and the Kayin Unity Demo­cratic Party.

Mahn Aung Pyi Soe said talks on es­tab­lish­ing joint pol­icy po­si­tions had been con­cluded, and mem­bers were now dis­cussing the flag de­sign, party colours and fi­nanc­ing.

The chair of the Kayin Demo­cratic Party, Saw Ye Win Naing, said, “The dif­fer­ing po­si­tions of the par­ties rep­re­sent the dif­fer­ent po­si­tions of eth­nic Kayin vot­ers. But that means that other par­ties pick up their votes. We know from the 2015 elec­tion what can hap­pen if the Kayin par­ties are not united. We un­der­stand the need to unite, and then we can ad­dress all the strengths and weak­nesses of eth­nic Kayin pol­i­tics.”

– Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

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