Karen Parties In Move To Be One For 2015 Election

The leaders of four different Karen political parties met over two days to discuss how to merge their organisations into one for Burma’s next general election in 2015.

In an effort to merge the parties, leaders of the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party, the Karen People’s Party, the Karen State Democracy and Development Party, and the Karen Democratic Party – all which contested the national election in 2010, met at Zwekabin Garden Hall in Hpa-an, Karen State on September 14-15.

Although no concrete agreement was reached for merging the parties, the groups all agree in principle to move to merge the four parties into one unified Karen party.

Speaking to Karen News, the PSDP chairman, Saw Thein Aung said.

“Getting different Karen political parties to become one single party is what Karen people want. We want to fulfill what the Karen people want. This will show our goodwill to our peoples’ needs.”

At the two day meeting the four Karen political parties reached six-points of agreement and ten-points for decision.

The six points of agreement, included working together for the benefit of Karen State, citizens’ benefits, peoples’ participation in Karen affairs, the peace process and for the rule of law.

The ten points for decision included working towards a single Karen political party, to work together in 2015 election, to take part in achieving peace, establishing a negotiation committee made up of five delegations from each Party and to form a working team with two delegations from each party.

The KSDDP chairman Saw Thar Htoo Kyaw said that the agreements and decisions that came out of the meeting were a good sign for the future, but stressed that it still needed further discussion before the four could be become a single party.

“We still have to discuss how to become one party. In my view, this kind of cooperation and discussion is a good prospect for Karen people and for other ethnic nationalities.”

Speaking to Karen News, the KPP’s, Nan San San Win said.

“I am pleased to see our Karen leaders cooperate and by putting away whatever happened in the past. I believe that working with one party is better.”

The four Karen parties agreed that their current move is one of the basic peace foundations that Karen people want to see in place. This is the first time the four Karen political parties have met – the meeting was attended by over 40 delegates.

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