The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) yesterday congratulated the National League for Democracy on its victory in the November 8 elections and said it hoped an NLD government, which will only take office next March, would lead the peace process to success and stop all fighting in Myanmar.

The Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), whose Shan State Army-North military wing is engaged in heavy fighting in central Shan State, said it hoped an NLD government would be able to influence and lead the Tatmadaw in an effort to stop the conflict. Some 7000 civilians have been displaced in a month of clashes in two townships.

The two ethnic organisations are among about a dozen that refused last month to join the nationwide ceasefire agreement or were excluded by the government from the peace process.

Their statements highlight the problems NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will face in running a government that has no executive control over the military or three key ministries, including defence. The party’s election manifesto declared the NLD would “work towards the Tatmadaw and institutions of national defence coming under the aegis of the executive branch”, but it gives no time frame.

The TNLA said it hoped the NLD would implement the policies it outlined in its election manifesto, including the creation of a federal union, and amendments of the constitution that would protect the people, and provide for free and safe development of ethnic areas.

The armed group stated its readiness to discuss the peace process with the next government.

TNLA spokesperson Mai Aike Kyaw told The Myanmar Times that the group believed the NLD would keep its election promises and that an NLD-led peace process could lead to success.

“Now we heard that the NLD is leading in the election results. We will negotiate with the NLD if they can form a government. Currently we want to continue with President U Thein Sein’s government but it is impossible,” he said.

The SSPP said it wanted a government that could influence and “lead” the Tatmadaw and instruct the military to stop the fighting.

SSPP spokesperson Colonel Sai La said the current government could not control the military, which did not accept instructions from the president to stop the fighting.

“I believe that the peace process will be successful when the NLD government leads the peace talks and political dialogue,” he said.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi stayed away from the grand October 15 signing of the nationwide ceasefire agreement in Nay Pyi Taw and her party declined to be among domestic “witnesses” of the signing.

In its section on “ethnic affairs and internal peace” her party manifesto does not mention the ceasefire process but says it will “work towards a peaceful, prosperous and durable Union, through solidarity with all ethnic groups”.

On the critical issue of natural resources – such as jade and timber which both sides in the conflicts exploit – the NLD pledges to work to “ensure a fair distribution across the country of the profits … in accordance with the principles of a federal union”.