Current NLD’s Karen Ethnic Affair Ministers Not Contesting Upcoming Election in Mon State and Yangon Region, But Popular Activist, Naw Ohn Hla Will Stand

The Karen Ethnic Affair Ministers of Mon State and Yangon Region, both from the National League for Democracy Party (NLD), said they are not contesting the 2020 election.

The ministers, Saw Aung Myint Khaing, Karen Ethnic Affair Minister for Mon State and Naw Pann Thinzar Myo, Karen Ethnic Affair Minister for the Yangon Region told Karen News they didn’t submit their applications to the NLD for re-running in the election.

“I didn’t resubmit the form for the Karen Ethnic Affair Minister position,” Naw Pann Thinzar Myo told Karen News. She is a member of the Yangon Regional government holding the position of Karen Ethnic Affair Minister and is responsible for department of Hotel and Tourism.

Karen Ethnic Affair Minister, Saw Aung Myint Khaing told Karen News he won’t re-run for the Karen Ethnic Affair Minister position, but will consider other posts if given an opportunity by the NLD.

“I made my decision based on what I can do, what I want to do and what position I could fix in. If the party gives me the responsibility of another position I will carry on with that duty.”

The Karen community in Mon State, said as Minister Saw Aung Myint Khaing is not contesting upcoming election, Doctor Saw Tha Sein, a native of Paung Township has submitted his application to contest the Karen Ethnic Affair Ministry portfolio in Mon State.

There are reports of a Karen woman, who is a member of Amyotha Hlutaw (House of Nationalities) from NLD is planning to run for the post of Karen Ethnic Affair Minister for the Yangon Region.

Naw Ohn Hla, a popular activist known for her advocacy for land rights, democracy rights and ethnic rights has announced she will run for the Yangon Region’s Karen Ethnic Affair Minister as a candidate for the United Nationalities Democracy Party (UNDP).

Naw Ohn Hla known for her courageous stands against the injustices in the country, not only among Karen communities, but also among other ethnic nationalities in Burma. She has been jailed and fought a number of lawsuits, under both the military backed USDP and NLD governments, for her leading role in organizing protests against controversial land issues, developments and ethnic rights.

Ethnic Affair Ministers are representatives elected by an ethnic minority in a given State or Region of Burma if that State or Region is composed of an ethnic minority population of 0.1% or greater of the total populace. Currently, there are five Karen Ethnic Affair Ministers – one each from Mon State, Taninthary, Bago, Ayeyarwady and Yangon Regions. All of the current Karen Ethnic Affair Ministers are from NLD Party.

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