Voters group urges Kachin parties cooperate


Kachin-demand-One-kachin-partyResidents of Kachin state's jade rich Hpakant region called on all of the existing Kachin political parties to cooperate during the upcoming 2015 national election. On Saturday January 25, officials from the Hpakant “people’s voice committee”, a group that represents over 30,000 Kachin voters in Hpakant township, met separately with the leaders of four Kachin political parties in Myitkyina, committee leader Lamawng La Tawng told the Kachin News Group.

“The reason that we asked them to form a committee is because the Kachin parties cannot win unless they combine as one. We believe a single united party can represent the people’s voice and Kachin national prosperity,” La Tawng told KNG.

A group of five committee members led by La Tawng met separately with Dr. Manam Tu Ja, leader of the Kachin State Democracy Party, Gumgrawng Awng Hkam leader of the Kachin Democratic Party (KDP), Hkangda Yaw leader of the Kachin State National Congress for Democracy Party (KSCD) and the leader of the Lisu National Development Party (LNDP).

Committee members were unable to meet with the leader of the Unity and Democracy Party-Kachin State (UDPKS), the sister party of the government's ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) because party leader Hkyet Hting Nan was not available on that day, La Tawng told KNG.

La Tawng said he expects a decision on whether the Kachin parties can merge will be made at an upcoming meeting in February when all the Kachin party leaders will sit down together.

“Our party completely supports the committee and welcomes unification of all Kachin parties. If we are unable to combine then we can form an alliance,” KDP leader Awng Hkam said.

Kachin voters in Hpakant have decided they will not support the Kachin parties if they participate individually in the election and fail to form one Kachin party, La Tawng told KNG. A warning that was also conveyed to the four Kachin party leaders during their meetings on Saturday, La Tawng said.

No Kachin party other than the UDPKS has received permission from the Naypyidaw controlled Union Election Commission to contest the 2010 elections.

To date the election commission has granted permission to the four Kachin parties participating in the 2015 elections in Kachin state.

Four national parties, the ruling USDP, the National League for Democracy (NLD), the National Democratic Force (NDF) and the National Unity Party (NUP) are active in Kachin state as well. Two Kachin state based non-Kachin parties are also active, the Taileng (Red Shan) Nationalities Development Party (TNDP) and the People Democracy Party (formed by Chinese and Indian people).