ALD party pre­pares to re­con­vene

The Myanmar Times - - News - NYAN LYNN AUNG nyan­lin­aung@mm­

MORE than 100 for­mer mem­bers of the Arakan Na­tional Party seem to be on the verge of form­ing a new po­lit­i­cal group­ing after their ex­pul­sion from the ANP. They met on Oc­to­ber 8-9 in Kyauk­taw town­ship, Rakhine State to dis­cuss the new party, just days after the ANP’s Oc­to­ber 3-4 con­ven­tion in Mrauk-U town­ship.

The ex­pelled mem­bers, from Yan­gon, Man­dalay and Aye­yarwady re­gions and Chin State, were for­merly mem­bers of the Arakan League for Democ­racy, which merged with the larger Rakhine Na­tion­al­i­ties De­vel­op­ment Party (RNDP) to form the ANP be­fore last Novem­ber’s elec­tions. In the best show­ing of any eth­nic party, the ANP took more than half the seats in Rakhine State.

Be­fore the merger, the ALD en­joyed closer ties with the now-rul­ing Na­tional League for Democ­racy.

U Myo Kyaw, one of the ex­pelled mem­bers and a for­mer senior ALD mem­ber, said he and his col­leagues dis­cussed the re­con­sti­tu­tion of the party, the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Rakhine State and fu­ture party plans.

“We will es­tab­lish a party sep­a­rately once all mem­bers have been con­sulted,” he told The Myan­mar Times, adding that Rakhine State needs the right lead­er­ship.

He de­clined to com­ment on the ANP con­ven­tion, say­ing he had seen no state­ment em­a­nat­ing from it and was not aware of any of its de­ci­sions.

“We in­tend to sched­ule the found­ing of a new ALD party soon,” he said.

Amyotha Hlut­taw MP Daw Htu Ex­pelled ANP mem­ber May (ANP; Rakhine 11), for­merly of the ALD, told The Myan­mar Times that the ALD could not be con­sid­ered a new party be­cause it had ex­isted for many years.

“A sep­a­rate ALD party could not be con­sid­ered as new be­cause it was founded in 1990,” she said, adding that the prob­lems be­tween the two groups might yet be me­di­ated.

Forged two years ago from a merger be­tween the RNDP and the ALD, the ANP has since strug­gled to main­tain co­he­sion, es­pe­cially due to the wide­spread per­cep­tion that the RNDP acts as the senior part­ner.

In the Novem­ber 2015 elec­tion, the ANP won 22 of the 34 seats in the Rakhine State parliament, the only eth­nic party to make much head­way against the Na­tional League for Democ­racy jug­ger­naut in the rest of the coun­try. The ANP promptly de­manded the right to con­trol the state cab­i­net ap­point­ments, a de­mand that was ig­nored as an NLD mem­ber, U Nyi Pu, was es­tab­lished as chief min­is­ter of Rakhine State.

Ko Ye Min Oo, the leader of the Rakhine Stu­dent Union, said that de­spite the 2015 merger of the two par­ties to fight the elec­tion, the two had never quite gelled po­lit­i­cally.

“The con­di­tions [for avoid­ing a split] were par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult be­cause of the hidden hand of Rakhine State pol­i­tics. It might be bet­ter if the split was to­tal,” he said.

ANP sec­re­tary U Tun Aung Kyaw said the party’s cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee would ar­range next year’s con­fer­ence based on the in­ter­ests of the Rakhine peo­ple, the need to main­tain po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and the or­gan­i­sa­tional ca­pac­ity of the party.

“I think it’s nec­es­sary to turn out a new gen­er­a­tion of the party,” he said. “The ALD meet­ing is not our con­cern be­cause they were ex­pelled.”

‘We will es­tab­lish a party sep­a­rately once all mem­bers have been con­sulted.’

U Myo Kyaw

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