Elderly NMSP Leaders Expected to Retire

Friday, December 27, 2019

The oldest generation of political leaders serving in the New Mon State Party (NMSP) is expected to step aside in the near future, according to observers attending the group’s 10th party conference.

“According to the NMSP constitution, political leaders are supposed to retire after they reach the age of around 70 or 75, while military leaders should retire at 60-65 years old. After that, they can work as advisors. But this won’t affect party policies or elections,” Mon political analyst Min Min Nwe told NMG.

New leaders are elected during the party conference, which is held once every four years. The current conference began on December 25 at the party’s headquarters in Yaychaung Phyar, and is expected to last up to two weeks.

In addition to the election of new leaders, the conference will also give the party an opportunity to discuss its constitution, policies, tasks, and future political situation, as well as general issues.

“We didn’t set a fixed period for the conference. It depends on the discussion agenda. It will probably take around 10-15 days,” Lt. Col. M. Seik Chan, the commander of the NMSP’s Battalion 5, told NMG.

Political analyst Min Min Nwe said he didn’t think the NMSP would change its political policies during the ongoing party conference. He added that the party needed to focus more on its future leaders.

“The NMSP should create more tasks for youth members and give them more power. It should offer them more opportunities to participate in leading roles,” he said.

More than 100 people, including representatives, observers and advisors, are participating in the conference.

The NMSP signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 1995. That ceasefire collapsed in April 2010, and a new one was signed in 2012.

The NMSP signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in February 2018.

Although the NMSP has an active military force, it has called for dialogue to resolve political problems in Burma.