Before the AMRDP began actively campaigning in late July 2010, the party was forced to submit its official symbols and committee roster before to the Commission for approval, pay large fees for registering representatives, and notify the Commission of its campaign’s commencement a week ahead of time. Despite these obstacles, party representatives boasted to IMNA last week that their election campaign has been both highly successful and entirely legal.
“We have not broken the Election Commission’s announcements [rules], but we can still campaign very well. We are doing it [campaigning] the legal way, so there is no need [for us to be] scared. We [the party] get satisfaction from [registering] our Mon people, and we are successful,” said AMRPD chairman Nai Ngwe Thein, also known as Nai Janu.
Nai Ngwe Thein also explained that that the party had, since it’s campaign’s commencement in June, formally registered more than 1,000 members from Ye Township, Thanphyuzayart Township, Mudon Township, and Karen State. The party is also currently conducting campaigns in Moulmein city and Tenasserim Divison; a future campaign in Paung Township is planned.
He informed IMNA that by the second week of July 2010 the party had sent in a list of 1,400 officially-registered AMRDP members, along with the names of the party’s Central Executive committee (CEC) members, to the Election Commission in Naypyidaw.
“[Many] Mon people do not know which party they will vote for and how to vote in an election. Some of them do not know anything about the political [situation], and they do not know about our party, but now they will know that they have party to vote for [the AMRDP], as a result of our party’s campaign,” Nai Ngwe Thein stated.
He added that many of the Mon people AMRDP members had spoken with indicated that they were fearful that registering with the party would lead to harassment from Burmese authorities. Nai Nwe Thein informed IMNA that in order to curb such fears, party members have begun explaining the AMRDP’s strict observance of Election Commission’s rules to their audiences, and that the Mon people need have no fear about registering as AMRDP members.
The AMRDP was founded on April 7th, 2010, and was formed around a 5 member “breakaway faction” from the original 15 member Mon “Working Committee”. The party’s official goals include representing Mon people in all areas of Burma, as well as all ethnic groups living in Mon -controlled regions of the country.