Mon State Sees Interethnic Solidarity in Ethnic Parties’ Campaign Launches

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Karen, Mon and Pa-O youth have begun collaborating in launching electoral campaigns for state-based ethnic political parties in Mon State.

In areas where the ethnic Mon party was not running for election, Mon youth helped Pa-O and Karen parties to run their campaigns, and vice versa.

The parties benefiting from the interethnic solidarity are the Karen People’s Party (KPP), the Mon Unity Party (MUP) and the Pa-O National Organization (PNO), all of which are running for seats in Mon State.

KPP and PNO are running in Thaton Township; MUP is not running there. Mon youth stepped in and helped the two parties launch their campaign in the township.

“The Mon party won’t contest the election in Thaton. But our brothers, the Karen and Pa-O parties will contest for election in Thaton Township. We support them,” ethnic Mon youth Min Chan Htaw told NMG. “We want to urge Mon people in Thaton to cast their votes for the Karen and Pa-O parties.”

Karen, Mon and Pa-O youth started campaigning together in Thaton on October 18.

Karen and Pa-O youth networks in Mon State released statements urging their respective ethnic communities to vote for the MUP in areas where the Karen and Pa-O parties aren’t running for election.

“We need to cast our votes for ethnic parties because ethnic parties need to be strong in order to get ethnic equality and strong ethnic representation in parliament,” Nang Mar Mar Zin, deputy chairperson of the Pa-O Youth Network, told NMG.

The Karen Youth Network (Mon State) also has said that ethnic political parties, rather than the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), are best positioned to resolve ethnic issues.

“I don’t think that the NLD party has understood ethnic affairs after 2015. Even if they understand it, they do not solve it,” Saw Thauk Kyar, who is in charge of the Karen Youth Network, said. “Ethnic problems have been present in Burma for so long. Ethnic people can solve ethnic affairs. Therefore, we want to urge Karen people to vote for other brother ethnic parties where the Karen party won’t contest for election in certain constituencies in Mon State.”

Mon political leaders have said that they welcome the youth movement as a show of interethnic unity.

“If they move forward and work together in the future, I think we will have a political environment, where federal democracy can be created in our country,” Mon political analyst Min Min New told NMG.

The KPP will run in seven constituencies: Belin, Thaton, Paung, and Kyaikmayaw townships, as well as for the Karen ethnic affairs ministerial post.

The PNO is running in two constituencies in Thaton Township and for the Pa-O ethnic affairs ministerial post .

The MUP is running in 35 constituencies in eight townships in Mon State and for the Bamar ethnic affairs ministerial post.