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Two Karen Political Parties Stand Strong – KNP and KNDP Leaders Reject Government Positions Offered by Burma’s Military Coup Leaders

The Karen National Party and the Karen National Democratic Party leaders have refused to accept an offer of government positions by military coup leaders, on February 4, 2021.

The Karen National Party and the Karen National Democratic Party leaders have refused to accept an offer of government positions by military coup leaders on February 4, 2021.

An Ayeyawaddy Delta based Karen National Party leader (who asked not to be named) confirmed to Karen News the rejection of the military’s offer.

“We were told about the offer yesterday for us to join the government [State Administration Council].”

The party leader told Karen News their response was to decline the coup leader’s offer on the grounds the Karen party needed time to contact its members.

The Karen State based Karen National Democratic Party said that they had also been offered government positions.

Mahn Aung Pyi Soe, chairperson of the KNDP told Karen News the party had rejected the military’s offer.

“Yes, I can confirm we received the offer, [I’m] not sure whether it is at union level or state level. We discussed the matter and decided that anyone in the party who accepted the offer would be sacked from the party.”

There are a total of four Karen political parties, two of them rejected offers of government positions and only the Kayin People Party (KPP) seem to be cooperating.

The chairperson of the Kayin People Party, Saw Tun Aung Myint is appointed as Ethnic Nationalities Affair Minister at the union level under the ruling ‘State Administration Council’ government.

Mahn Nyein Maung, a former Karen National Union leader who contested the 2020 general election as a Pyithu Hluttaw’s (House of Representative) candidate for the Kayin People Party in Pantanaw Township Constituency has also been appointed as a member of the ‘State Administration Council’.

The KNU put out a statement distancing itself from Mahn Nyein Maung and said he had resigned of his own will and stressed any matters concerning Mahn Nyein Muang’s actions are in no way related to the KNU.

The Karen National Party is a member of the ethnic political parties alliance – the United Nationalities Alliance and Karen News is led to understand that other ethnic parities in the alliance were also offer positions by the coup leaders but all rejected.

The Karen National Democratic Party was formed out of three Karen state based parties and some members of the Plone-Swor Democratic Party and contested in the 2020 general election. Despite failing to win any constituency, KNDP received the second most votes following the National League for Democracy in most constituencies in Karen State.

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