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Some ethnic parties to register with EC in April

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – In the wake of the declaration of the electoral laws some ethnic political parties are gearing up to register with the Election Commission in early April.

The Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) with 100 members decided at a meeting held on March 19 to 20 to register in April.

"We shall try to register our party within a week or 10 days, maybe in early April. We are now drafting our papers in accordance with the laws enacted," party Chairman Dr. Tuja told Mizzima.

The party reportedly has over 3,000 persons waiting to be accepted as party members after being registered as a political party.

This meeting confirmed the office bearers -- with Dr. Tuja as Chairman, Khaw Bawm as Vice-Chairman (1), San Khaung as Vice-Chairman (2), Tu Raw as Secretary, Zaw Latt as Joint Secretary along with 19 Central Executive Committee (CEC) members, 58 Central Committee (CC) members and 35 Alternate CC members.

The Mon Democracy Party will decide on registering in early April.

The Mon Democracy Party was formed on 29 June last year with a 15-member Organizing Committee and some of them are former "New Mon State Party" (NMSP) Central Committee members.

"The party members are ready for us if we decide to contest the election. We have a strong mass base as we are representing our Mon State and we are a nationalist party. The number of our party members will be more than the minimum required number of 500," party spokesman Nai Tin Aung told Mizzima.

But the second largest winning party in the 1990 general election, the 'Shan Nationalities League for Democracy' (SNLD) party, demanded that the junta release their party leader Khun Tun Oo in order to discuss the party registration issue.

Khun Tun Oo and many Shan party leaders were sentenced to long prison terms after being charged with high treason. They were sent to remote and far-flung prisons across the country.

The pro-junta 'National Politics Alliance' group is also ready to register as a political party in April with about 100,000 party members, party presidium board member Win Zaw said.

"We have completed the ground work and we shall register our party in early April. We are ready in all aspects; party membership strength, party organizing areas, party policy and programme, constitution and all party rules and regulations," he said.

Win Zaw also said that the anti-economic sanction groups are in their 'National Politics Alliance' group. The junta assisted the anti-economic sanction campaigns launched by these groups namely 'National Politics Youth', individual MPs and National Convention delegates group, New Generation Political Economy Study group, Patriotic National Politics Organization, and Peace and Development Group. Economic sanctions were imposed on Burma by the West for violations of human rights in Burma.

The regime enacted the 'Union Election Commission Law' on March 8 and the 'Rule of Political Parties Registration Law' on March 17. 

The 'Peace & Diversity Party' is also ready for registration, it is learnt.

The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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