Friday, 13 December 2019

Mizzima News

Home > News > Election 2010 > Former USDP organiser forms Kachin party

Former USDP organiser forms Kachin party

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Members of the Kachin ethnic minority who belonged to the junta’s nationalist social organisation applied to the Burma’s electoral watchdog in Naypyidaw to form a new political party last Friday.

Duwa Khet Htein Nan, originally nominated as a candidate for the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) party in the upcoming election, will serve as chairman of the Unity and Democracy Party for Kachin State (UDPKS), sources close to him said.

He also served as an organiser for the USDP in Naug Nan village, eight miles (13 kilometres) north of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

But the relationship between the USDP led by serving Prime Minister Thein Sein and the UDPKS remains unclear. The new party has emerged as the electoral watchdog, the Union Election Commission, has been deliberately rejecting applications from other Kachin groups that sought to form political parties.

The total number of ethnic Kachin parties has reached four and include the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP), led by former Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) leaders; the United Democracy Party (Kachin State); and the Shan State (North) Progressive Party.  

Other leading office holders of the UDPKS, formed in the middle of last month, are also former USDP members: vice-chairman Fowler Gham Phan, lawyer Dwe Bu, lawyer La Mya Gam and adviser Madein Zone Teng, who is also chairman of the Kachin Cultural Organisation. They formed their party in middle of last month.

Dwe Bu attended the junta-sponsored “National Convention” held in Nyaunghnapin,  representing Kachin State as an elder and eminent person, Mizzima was told.

Fowler Gan Pham, a party nominee to contest in the Mansi Township constituency, Bamao District, said it was premature to answer questions on party policies.

“It’s a bit premature to answer these questions. We will represent all 18 townships in Kachin State in the upcoming elections and will become the major party to represent all people in Kachin State”, he told Mizzima.

Kachin Cultural Organisation central committee member Duwa Khet Htein was unreachable for comment. Local residents speculated that he would also campaign in Kachin State. He owns the Aung Shwe Kabar gold and jade mining company and is part owner of the My Gin Dai gold mine, a source close to him says.

A local resident in Myitkyina who is close to him said that he had won the respect and trust of Kachin people as he had served four times as head of the Kachin traditional Manau dance festival, which commemorated Kachin State Day. He had also led the 62nd Manau dance festival last year. 

“Under his leadership, we are well organised and united. He knows well he is being exploited by the military regime,” the resident told Mizzima. “He is well known and a crucial person for organising the people.”

Observers said that the new Kachin party had entered the fray after the visit to the state last month by Communications, Post and Telegraph Minister Brigadier General Thein Zaw and Ministry of Industry No. 1 Minister Aung Thaung, who had urged participants to form a new ethnic Kachin party.

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.

Download Mobile App