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NLD statement has led to misunderstanding: KIO

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) says a statement by the National League for Democracy (NLD) has created confusion around the postponement of elections in three constituencies in Kachin State.

On March 23, the Burmese government announced that elections in Bhamo, Phakant and Mogoung constituencies would be postponed, claiming the area was too dangerous for elections to be held. The NLD planned to contest in all three constituencies.

According to La Nan, a KIO spokesman, an NLD central campaign committee statement issued on Monday said, “The NLD wants to discuss and negotiate with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)” about holding elections in the constituencies.

“We’re concerned about the misinterpretation of this statement because the KIO has no responsibility for cancelling the voting in these three constituencies. In fact, we have nothing to do with the decision taken by the government. The statement could be interpreted to mean the by-elections in these constituencies can be held only after getting approval from the KIO,” he told Mizzima.

The NLD statement said the by-elections could be held in these constituencies on April 1 as planned if the election commission or government helps in negotiating with the KIO and its army, La Nang said.

He told Mizzima: “There are no movements of KIO troops in these areas so there would be no harassment from us. We don’t understand their intentions in postponing these elections. The reason given on security grounds is not logical and it is unfounded.”

The NLD should contact the KIO directly to discuss the issue, he said.

The NLD statement also said Aung San Suu Kyi is ready to help negotiate peace in Kachin State and to meet with government or KIO officials.

The Union government said it postponed the elections in the constituencies “on security grounds as there would be no guarantee for holding free and fair elections.”
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 March 2012 14:48 )  

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