KSPP’s future depends on KIO’s decision

The Election Commission’s approval of the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) to contest the polls is now hinging on the stand to be taken by the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIOs) decision following its meeting with public representatives, which is to be released soon, said party officials.

The KIO has tentatively informed the junta before the three-day Laiza meeting three things--- it will support the November 7 election, accept transformation of KIA in principal and finally, it will not secede from the Union of Burma. The final decision, however, will be mentioned in the statement to be released.
KIO officials had a crucial meeting with Kachin public representatives from Kachin State and Shan State at the Laiza capital in eastern Kachin State, near the Sino-Burma border from August 14 to 16, to adopt a new policy to take Kachin politics forward with the Burmese junta or a new government to come to power after the November elections.

The Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) registered with the EC in Burma’s capital Naypyitaw in early April for contesting the election from Kachin State. It has not been approved so far on suspicion of having tenuous links with the KIO, which rejected transforming its armed wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to the regime proposed Border Guard Force.

Dr. Manam Tu Ja, leader of KSPP in Kachin’s capital Myitkyina told the Thailand-based Kachin News Group today, “Our party’s approval is totally dependent on the KIO’s Laiza decision. If the KIO goes on to fight the junta, the party will be not be approved by the EC.”

The KSPP leader Dr. Tu Ja is a retired KIO Vice-president No. 2 and most of his aides are also retired KIO officers. The party leaders appealed thrice to the EC and said that it had no links with KIO but approval has been denied so far, added party officials in Myitkyina.

U Myint Naing, on behalf of U Thein Soe, Chairman of EC visited Myitkyina from August 11 to 13 but returned to Naypyitaw without meeting any political organizations in Kachin State. Earlier, U Thein Soe had promised that he would visit Myitkyina and meet KSPP leaders, said Dr. Tu Ja.

So far, the junta-controlled EC has approved only one Kachin party, the Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State (UDPKS), which is backed by the junta and its party the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

In Laiza, KIO senior officials are meeting after the three-day meet with public representatives and are preparing to release an official statement about its political stand soon, said Laiza sources.
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