Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New political party says it wants to work for a peaceful Burma

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 21:01 Tun Tun

New Delhi (Mizzima) –  Burma’s newest political party, the New National Democracy Party (NNDP), said it wants to work for peace in order to bring about national reconciliation.  

“Our party’s main objective is to seek national reconciliation. In order to achieve that, we need peace in the country as soon as possible. Until we achieve peace, we cannot make national reconciliation,” U Kyaw, the founder of the NNDP and an MP in the Rangoon Region Assembly, told Mizzima.

MP Thein Nyunt, standing, speaks at a press conference
attended by about 50 people including foreign and local
journalists in April 2011. Appearing with Lower House MP
Thein Nyunt were MP Phone Myint Aung of the Upper
House; Kyaw (a representative of the Rangoon legislature,
Thingangyun constituency 1 ); and San San Myint (a
representative of the Rangoon legislature, Thingangyun
constituency 2). Photo: Mizzima
With regard to renewed fighting in Kachin, Karen, Karenni and Mon states, the new party, which was approved Tuesday the Union Election Commission, said that since it had not yet been officially approved, it could not yet say how it would try to stop the fighting. On July 4, a breakaway group of National Democratic Force (NDF), which comprised 20 members including MP Thein Nyunt of Thingangyun Township constituency, MP Kyi Myint, MP Phone Myint Aung, MP U Kyaw and MP San San Myint, submitted an application to set up as a political party.

The founders said that it would put forward motions in Parliament to fulfill people’s needs.

“We will work for the welfare of the general public. In accordance with people’s suggestions, we will carry out the tasks as much as we can,” U Kyaw said.

The UEC approval was the first step in a process. Next, the organizers must register as a political party before it can become active. Members said the NNDP would submit an application to register to the UEC in early September.

Myo Tun, tend office chief, said that there were about 1,000 people who wanted to be party members. Currently, there are 38 political parties in Burma.

“Thingangyun Township is our party stronghold. We will form the party with about 1,100 party members,” Myo Tun said.

Thein Nyunt and Kyi Myint will lead the party. One of the party founders is the well-known singer Yatha. Thein Nyunt, a former NDF leader, was expelled from the NDF on November 17, 2010, after he allegedly gave information about the party’s internal and financial affairs to the media.

Later, Phone Myint Aung, U Kyaw (Thingangyun constituency No. 1), San San Myint (Thingangyun constituency No. 3), Kyin Myint (Latha constituency) and 63 members of NDF resigned from the NDF and joined with Thein Nyunt to form the new political party.

The NNDP will contest in the by-election in two constituencies in Rangoon: in Dagon Seikkan Township and in Mayangone constituencies. Its main competitor will be the majority Union Solidarity and Development Party.

The NNDP said that it would appoint party agents to monitor the by-election.

Meanwhile in other political matters, Dr. Tu Ja, who tried to form a Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP), which was not approved by the UEC, has denied that he will run as an independent candidate in the by-election.

“I’m not interested in the by-election. I’m interested in politics and the [main] election, but I don’t have any ideas about the by-election,” Tu Ja told Mizzima.

Tu Ja and his colleagues submitted an application to set up the KSPP to contest in the 2010 general elections but the UEC rejected the application saying the group had links with the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). Tu Ja tried to run as an independent candidate, but the UEC rejected his candidacy without citing a reason.

His group would try to organize and contest in Kachin State in the coming 2015 general election, he said, if the government approves it. He said the group would work to halt the civil war, and he urged relevant groups and organizations to find ways now to hold a political dialogue.

“To allow the country to develop, this [peace] is essential. Kachin State needs peace. The whole nation needs to be at peace,” said Tu Ja.

Since his effort to form a party had not been approved, he said he could not say how he would try to stop the fighting.

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