The Rangoon based Kayin People’s Party (KPP) is focused on winning five ethnic Karen nationalities affair seats in the upcoming 2015 national election. The five constituencies are in the State and Regions outside of the designated Karen State, but where large populations of Karen people live.
The Burma 2008 Constitution reserved one ethnic based minister’s seat for ethnic nationalities that have a population that constitutes 0.1 percent and above of the population of the country. KPP is to contest five Karen ethnic nationalities affair seats – one each in Rangoon/Yangon Region, Irrawaddy/Ayeyawaddy Region, Pegu/Pago Region, Tenasserim/Tanitharyi Region and Mon State where significant of Karen population are residing.
Saw Say Wah, spokeperson and vice-chairperson of the KPP, spoke to Karen News about his party plan to win the five seats.
“We will contest all five Karen ethnic nationalities affair seats in the upcoming 2015 election.” Said Saw Say Wah, adding that their second priority was to focus on winning Regional parliamentary seats in the Ayeyawaddy Region.
“We have not yet chosen our candidates to run for those seats. We want to say to the people to please choose carefully and vote for those who can genuinely represent the Karen people.”
Saw Say Wah said that their party had already formed its campaign committee. Saw Say Wah said that KPP campaign would mainly target Karen people. He also said that the Union Solidarity and Development Party – the governing party and its rival the National League for Democracy – the main opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, would be the KPP’s main opponents for the seats.
Naw Wah Hser, a resident in Insein Township of Rangoon where large numbers of Karen people live told Karen News that she would rather support Karen parties than other parties, but urged the KPP to do more for the Karen people.
“I do support the KPP, but only on national issues. For example, they [KPP] should put more effort in to getting the Karen language taught in schools. We’ve only seen their banners in some places, but haven’t seen any activities. I want to say that they need to put more effort and to work on what the people want – then we will continue supporting them.”
According to KPP sources, the party is collaborating and coordinating with Karen state based parties such as the Karen Democratic Party and the Karen State Development and Democracy Party.
In Burma’s 2010 national election, the KPP fielded their candidates in 42 constituencies, including the five Karen ethnic nationalities affair seats, but won only six seats – two of the seats were for the Karen ethnic nationalities affair.