The Karen National Democratic Party (KNDP), a newly merged party of Karen political parties, has elected its central executive committee in Karen State’s captial Hpa-An yesterday (March 12).
A total of 32 candidates with four candidates each from former Karen parties – Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party (PSDP), the Karen Democratic Party (KDP), the Karen State Democracy and Development Party (KSDDP), and the Karen United Democratic Party (KUDP) – run in the election.
“A 32-member committee was formed with eight people from each party. Among the 32 people, 15 people have been elected for the central executive committee. Then, the chair and vice-chairs were elected via a ballot system,” Saw Myint Htwe, the new joint secretary (1) of the KNDP, explained at the press conference.
Mahn Aung Pyi Soe (former PSDP’s vice-chair) has been elected as chair and Saw Myat Htut Win (former KSDDP) and Saw Htin Kyay (former PSDP) have been elected as vice-chairs. Saw Chit Than (former KSDDP) has been elected as general secretary and Saw Myint Htwe (former KDP) and Naw Thazin Toke (former PSDP) have been elected as joint secretaries.
Saw Myint Htwe said the KNDP will submit over 1,000 members and the list of its central executive committee members to the Union Election Commission within three months after receiving the approval to register as a new party on February 22.
Among four Karen parties in the Karen State, three parties merged after abolishing their parties and the remaining Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party (PSDP) has not joined the KNDP yet but its members have resigned to join the merged party.
Former members of the PSDP made up the majority of the 15-member central executive committee with six members including the chair position, followed by the KSDDP with five members and the KDP with four members.
Currently there are four Karen political parties in Myanmar, namely the KNDP and the PSDP in the Karen State, the Karen People’s Party (KPP) in Yangon, and the Karen National Party (KNP) in the Ayeyarwaddy Region.