The representatives are Saw True Black, general secretary of Kayin People Party (KPP), Saw Myat Htut Win, Vice Chairman (1) of the Karen National Democratic Party (KNDP) and Saw Kyi Lin, secretary of Plone-Swaw Democratic Party.
The general secretary of KPP, Nant Khin Aye Oo said. “We decided to join the meeting after receiving 28 ballots in favour and 7 against. The main reason for joining is to hear what they have to say – we also want to get a clear understanding on the [fraud] issue over voter lists.
A letter of invitation, dated 22th February, was sent to all Burma political parties by the new Union Electoral Commission, recently restructured by the military council, who address themselves as the State Administrative Council (SAC).
There are four Karen political parties in Burma. The Irrawaddy delta-based Karen National Party (KNP) general secretary Mahn Kyaw Nyien confirmed they would not be joining the meeting.
“We responded yesterday that we would not join the meeting. Most of our party members agreed not to join or to take part in this meeting,” he told Karen News.
The chairman of KNDP explained why the Karen State-based Karen political parties were attending the meeting.
“We are definitely going, we are going because we want to know the situation set for ethnic parties and what we will get in return, what could we take from what they are going to give and say. If we can, we will take what they offer and if we can’t then we won’t.”
Saw Kyi Lin Oo, general secretary of PSDP also expressed his view that joining this meeting was not about a matter of like or dislike, they just want to know what the Union Electoral Commission will say and do.
Karen civil society sources warned the UEC meeting looked like an obvious attempt to divide the Karen people and deflect attention away from the nationwide protests against the military coup.
“This is not the time to meet with an unelected military junta intent on suppressing and robbing people of their legal elected lawmakers. I fear the Karen parties will be played and used to confuse.”