USDP Offers Kachin State Land Plots In Exchange For 2020 Election Victory

Military checkpoint at the entrance of Maran Kahtawng village in Mogaung township

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has offered plots of land in Kachin State’s Mogaung Township to those who support them in Burma’s 2020 elections, party sources told KNG.

The land up for grabs is 100 acres of USDP-owned property in Maran Kahtawng village in Loili Yang village tract. It will be doled out to pro-USDP voters by application only and is dependent upon the party winning in the polls next year, according to the USDP’s Daw Phyu Zar Aung, who lives in Maran Kahtawng.

“It's true. We will give the land plot to our voters, but not now,” she explained, but denied that the party was “giving land plots freely.”

“This is a part of our campaign for the upcoming 2020 general elections. Only people who are going to vote for the USDP in the coming election are allowed to apply for that land. We will only give out this land after we win the election,” Daw Phyu Zar Aung said.

Applications for blocks of the land—each 80 by 60 feet—began earlier in February. At the time of reporting, more than 1,000 people had applied, most applications coming from internally displaced people who have lost their homes. Along with an application, those who wish to be granted a land plot must give a copy of their national ID card and three photos of themselves.

It remains unclear how the USDP would dole out the land post-election, or how they would verify whether the individuals who had applied for land had in fact voted for them.

Maran Kahtawng village administrator Labya Bawk Naw maintained that any land distribution must be carried out in accordance with the law.

“We don't exactly know whether USDP will give out the land plots. People from Hpakant and Myitkyina have applied for this land under the USDP name,” he said, adding that the USDP will need to discuss the issue further with the village administration.

If the USDP wins a majority in the 2020 elections, it will focus on regional development, party member U Thet Wai told KNG.

“We will prioritize giving land plots to landless people who vote for us,” he said. “We will work to restore peace and local development in ethnic areas. We can implement this goal after winning the election.”

The USDP was founded in 2010 as a successor to the Union Solidarity and Development Association, created by the ruling military regime in 1993.