Mon Unity Party to Prioritize the Backing of Women and Youth Electoral Candidates

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Leaders of the Mon Unity Party (MUP) have said that they will prioritize the selection of women and youth candidates in Burma’s upcoming general elections, scheduled for later this year.

According to the Joint Secretary-2 of the MUP, this is party policy.

“We have yet to decide what percent of women and youths must be selected as candidates. We will decide it when they apply to be electoral candidates. We have already invited them,” Joint Secretary-2 Nai San Tin told NMG.

The central candidate selection team was formed in the MUP’s central executive committee from January 12-13. It has 16 members.

There is only an 11 percent rate of women’s participation at the central committee level.

Mi Ngwe Lay, an ethnic Mon woman, said that many women in the community are restricted by domestic responsibilities and do not see politics as a path open to them.

“The MUP has opened up for women’s participation without any restrictions. Many Mon women cannot participate in politics for many reasons. Many women are busy with domestic work after they get married, so they don’t have much time,” Mi Ngwe Lay told NMG.

Mon youth participation in politics is still very low, which Min Aung, who works on Mon youth affairs, attributed to a lack of opportunity.

“Some youth are interested in politics. We need to give a hand to these youth to participate in politics. Qualified youth should be appointed to higher positions. Then youth will participate in politics,” he said.

The MUP was formed as a merger of the All Mon Regions Democracy Party, Mon National Party and Mon political activists. The Union Election Commission allowed the MUP to form a political party on May 17, 2019.

The party registered with the Union Election Commission on July 11, 2019.

As of late 2019, MUP’s leaders say that they have more than 20,000 party members.