Former Kachin leader to contest by-election as an independent

An ethnic Kachin leader, Dr. Htu Jar, will compete in Burma’s by-election scheduled for April 1st as an independent candidate.

Dr. Htu Jar said he would run as individual representative as he had failed to get his proposed party registered for Burma’s national elections held in November 2010.

“I don’t plan to form a party. Last year, I tried to form a party, but we failed to get registered. Instead of forming a new party, I will compete in the by-election as an independent candidate. If I am elected, I will be able to work for the welfare of the people, as this is the main reason I contested this by-election.”

Dr. Htu Jar said he is preparing the necessary documents for registration as a candidate as he will compete as an independent representative for the Moe Kaung Township constituency in Kachin State.

Prior to the 2010 elections, Dr. Htu Jar, formed the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP ) to contest the November 7 national elections, but Kachin sources said that as the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) had rejected becoming Border Guard Force under the control of the Burma Army, the Election Commission denied the KSPP registration.

After failing to get registered the KSPP Dr. Htu Jar dissolved the party. However, he said other party members can still try to get the party registered after the by-election.

Dr. Htu Jar said he is taking part in the election so he can accomplished his political goals legally within the parliament system.

“The pace of reform is getting faster. The parliament has become more active. I think if we want real change and if we want a democratic country, we better get involved and work together to progress the country.”

Dr. Htu Jar is a dentist by profession and he has worked for the Kachin Independance Organization (KIO) and was its chairman from 1975 to 2009.

The forthcoming Burma by-election will elect representatives from 48 constituencies that failed to cast a vote during the November 7, 2010 national elections. Among the constituencies, are Ba Maw Township, Moe Kaung Township and Par Kan Township.

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