Another year required to unite Kayin parties into single political entity
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