Karen Youth Pledge Support to Ethnic Karen Political Parties in Election

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Karen Youth Network (KYN) has said that ethnic Karen young people will help Karen political parties during the coming general election to promote a vision of a more peaceful, equitable country after many years of war.

The KYN released a statement describing their position after holding a three-day meeting from August 19-21. They described their goal as working toward a genuine federal democratic Union, ethnic equality, self-determination, unity, socioeconomic development and peace.

Member of the KYN secretariat Saw Kyaw Lin said that the network had agreed to work for Karen political parties because of these shared goals.

“We will only work with them if their party’s policies are in line with our stances. If their policies are in line with the stance of Karen youths, we will support them,” he told NMG.

The KYN said that they pushed for ethnic Karen parties to merge. When they did not, the KYN said that they would only support the parties that kept a promise to avoid competing against one another in the same constituency, to avoid vote splitting.

“I think parties can start election campaigns on September 8, so we can help them with election campaigns on the ground,” Saw Kyaw Lin told NMG, adding that they would also participate in online campaigning if necessary.

While members of the KYN said that they do not have high expectations for major victories by ethnic Karen political parties in the 2020 election, they mainly hope for a new government that prioritizes the building of a federal Union by paying attention to ethnic issues, peace, and equality.

“Our Karen people have suffered a lot from the long civil war. Therefore, we want a government, which really works to restore genuine peace in our country,” Saw Kyaw Lin told NMG.