General Mutu Say Poe won the leadership of Karen National Union in a secret ballot at the organisations 15th Congress held in Lay Wah, Pa-an District, Karen State.
Karen News is led to understand that all the KNU’s top three key positions were also decided today, Friday 21 December – Naw Zipporah Sein was elected to vice-chairperson and Saw Kwe Htoo Win got general secretary.
General Tamla Baw, the former KNU chairperson resigned on the opening day of the Congress and Padoh David Tharckapaw the former vice-chairperson was not re-elected. Voting for the remaining positions on the KNU executive, for the department heads and the central standing committee are at the time of writing still in progress.
It is expected that the 15th Congress will finish this weekend and all new positions announced. KNU representatives attending the 15th Congress said that they hoped the elections would unite the organisation.
A KNU source said the organisations has massive responsibilities – on-going ‘peace-talks’ negotiations with the government, repatriation of tens of thousands of refugees and as many as 500,000 displaced people, mega-development projects, landrights issues, demining landmined areas and the withdrawal of Burma Army soldiers from Karen State.
The Karen National Union’s 15th Congress began on November 26 at Lay Wah in Pa-an District, Karen State.