Merged Kachin Party Aims for Coalition Role in Next Gov’t

The Kachin State People’s Party says it will fight for all of the state’s ethnic groups, not just the Kachin.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Kachin State People’s Party (KSPP), formed through a merger of three Kachin political parties, says it will try to form a coalition government with parties in central Burma after next year’s general elections.

“We want to join a coalition government in 2020 with political parties that have a desire to work for ethnic affairs,” the party’s vice-chairman 2, Gumgrawng Awng Hkam, told NMG, mentioning two potential partners by name.

“We will work together with UNA and NBF when we are working for alliance issues,” he said, referring to the United Nationalities Alliance and the Nationalities Brotherhood Federation.

The party, which officially registered with the Union Election Commission (UEC) in May of this year, held a ceremony at the Majoi Hall in Myitkyina’s Manau Park on Monday to formally introduce itself to the public.

Since registering with the UEC, the party has opened branch offices in townships around the state and started forming working committees. Its goal, it says, is to field candidates in all 18 townships in Kachin State.

“We can create the best future. That’s why we are preparing for it. We will run in all 18 townships in Kachin state for seats in both the upper and lower houses of the national parliament, as well as in the state parliament,” said Gumgrawng Awng Hkam.

According to the party’s chairman, Dr. Manam Tu Jaa, the merger of three parties the Kachin Democratic Party, the Kachin State Democracy Party, and the Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State presented major challenges.

“This is the first time since Burma gained independence that Kachin political parties have been able to merge. It was very difficult and there were many challenges, but we did it because we listened to the voice of the people,” Dr. Manam Tu Jaa told NMG.

Gumgrawng Awng Hkam said the KSPP would work for the benefit of all ethnic people living in Kachin State, not just the Kachin. Other groups in the state include the Shanni, Bamar, Rakhine and Gurkhas.

“This is a party for everybody who lives in Kachin State. And we are also working together with other ethnic groups to build a federal union,” he said.