Kachin Party to contest 2010 polls

KSPP Chairman Dr. Tuja

(Mizzima) – The Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) led by Dr Manam Tuja, former leader of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) is entering the electoral fray with the requisite 15 central committee members and a minimum of  500 party members in Kachin State.

“We are going to register our party within 60 days as stipulated by the party registration law,” Dr Tuja, chairman of KSPP told Mizzima.

If KSPP emerges victorious it will work for the progress and development of education, health and the social status of Kachin nationals, Dr Tuja added.

Dr Tuja was the Vice Chairperson of KIO from 1975 to 2009. He resigned from the KIO in September last year to form and lead the KSPP.

“I think the (Burmese) military is doing what it can for reforms. It has reserved 25 per cent of seats in Parliament and will give 75 per cent to the people. I think the people should use this opportunity,” he added.

However, many Kachin activists do not agree with Dr Tuja. Awng Wa, Chairman of the Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) based in Kachin State told Mizzima that he does not think any Kachin party that contests the 2010 elections, even if they win, will be able to bring about genuine development for the Kachin people.

Dr Manam Tuja
Dr Manam Tuja

“Even if a party or organization that represents Kachin State wins in the elections, I don’t think there will be any special development for the Kachin state and its people. It is because the military will assume power in keeping with the 2008 constitution,” he added.

Meanwhile, with the help of China, the junta is building the Myitsone Hydropower project in Kachin State, where activists say would displace at least 15,000 people. It is slated to be the biggest hydropower project in the country.

Moreover, the regime is putting pressure on the KIO to transform its armed wing the Kachin Independence Army to a Border Guard Force, which it has rejected so far.

The junta is implementing its ‘Seven Step Road Map to Democracy and as its fifth step it will be holding elections this year. Though the exact election date has not been announced yet, it has promulgated laws for the elections. Some political parties including the Democratic Party-Myanmar, Union Democracy Alliance and Union of Myanmar National Political Force have publicly announced their intention to participate in the elections. However, the main opposition party the National League for Democracy that registered a landslide victory in 1990 elections has not decided yet.

With the announcement of 2010 electoral laws, the regime has ensured the 1990 election results have become null and void.


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