Mon 11 Mar 2013
Filed under: Ethnic Issues,Inside Burma,News
Negotiations are taking place to form a third political party that would challenge the dominance of the Union Solidarity and Development Party and the National League for Democracy.
The new party would be a coalition of ethnic parties, and would be ready to fight the 2015 elections, says the chairman of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, Dr Aye Maung.
“Our new strategy will bring about a political party. We are in negotiation,” he said.
The new grouping, to be named the “Federated Union Party”, would field candidates all over the country, he said.
“The suggestion is that we will have to enter the fray if two big parties run in ethnic constituencies,” he said.
The USDP and NLD should avoid running in ethnic-minority constituencies if they really want to secure national unity, the ethnic-based National Brotherhood Federation said in their manifesto released on March 2.
“This manifesto was adopted by the majority, not by any party or individual,” said Shan Nationalities Democratic Party’s Pyithu Hluttaw representative for Muse township U Sai Pho Aung.
“NLD chairman Daw Aung San Suu Kyi once discussed with some of us whether ethnic minority candidates should contest only in ethnic-minority constituencies. But in the last by-election, they contested those seats as well,” he said.
This week’s NLD party convention will develop strategy for the 2015 election by forming a central committee, said party spokesman U Ohn Kyaing MP.
“The central committee will formulate a strategy. For the time being, we have nothing more to say,” he added.
USDP vice chairman U Htay Oo MP said: “In a democratic country, parties can pursue what they believe in. They can try to run in every constituency in 2015. In Kachin State, our party members are Kachin nationals. We will have to consider them.”
The National Brotherhood Federation was formed from the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, Chin National Party, Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, All Mon Region Democracy Party and Phalon-Swaw Democratic Party after the 2010 election and now has a core group of seven parties, with six parties as observers.
Translated by Thit Lwin