Ethnic Parties Expect Coalition Govt

By Network Media Group
Thursday, August 19, 2020

Some leaders of ethnic parties predict that Burma will have a coalition government after the 2020 general election.

Gumgrawng Awng Hkam, the second vice-chairperson of Kachin State People’s Party (KSPP), said the larger parties would not receive a majority of votes based on the current situation. “I am sure the NLD (National League for Democracy) would not win a landslide victory during the 2020 general election, as it did in the 2015 general election. It will therefore be difficult to form a government.”

Maung Maung Soe, a political analyst, said ethnic parties will get more seats in Parliament. It’s unclear if elections will even happen in Rakhine State, he said. The NLD is still popular in Karen State, but in the remaining five states—Kachin, Shan, Mon, Kayah and Chin—the ethnic parties are stronger, Maung Maung Soe said. The 2020 general election could be a turning point for Burma, he predicted, with ethnic parties weighing heavily in a new coalition government.

According to the 2008 Constitution, if a single party does not control at least half of the seats in Parliament, it must negotiate with the other parties, Sai Kyaw Nyunt, general secretary-1 for Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, told NMG. Although he wasn’t sure the parties could win a majority, it would be better for the country if there was a coalition government. Under the 2008 Constitution, equality for ethnic groups, self-determination and a genuine federal union are difficult to achieve, Sai Kyaw Nyunt said. A coalition government could make amendments to the constitution, as well as making reconciliation, building peace and a federal union.

Khu Joseph, from Kayah State Democratic Party, also said a coalition government is the key to implementing a federal union, but it would depend on if the elected parties can form an alliance.