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Mon Democracy Party Facing Financial Problems

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By JALOON HTAW – One year after establishing the party, the chairman of the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP), Nai Ngwe Thein, said the party is still facing a financial crisis to run the party. Leaders are using their own money to run the party.

The AMDP was established April 7, 2010, and the military regime offered the party registration status to run in the 2010 elections on May 24.

“Our finances are a big problem for our party despite the fact that our party has already existed for one year. We do not have money to run the party. No one has come to donate for us,” said Nai Ngwe Thein.

“We still have to run our party with our own pocket money,” he added.

Even though there are financial problems, the AMDP set up several offices in different townships in Mon State after the party ran in the 2010 election. Some Mon people offered their houses to the AMDP for free to be used as offices.

Nai Than Shwe, the secretary of the AMDP office in Thanbyuzayat Township, said, “We sold a CDMA phone to pay our debt from when we borrowed money during the election campaign.”

One CDMA phone costs about 500,000 kyat.

“No one provides us with money. We heard some businessmen would donate to us, but they never came,” said Nai Than Shwe.

The AMDP leaders have considered taking 10 percent from the monthly salary of their 16 officials who won in the election to help the party.

Among the 16 officials from the party, there are four ministers. Two are in Mon State, and two are in Karen State.

As the party’s officials have to use their own money to keep the party operational, some party members have questioned how long the party can continue.

“We do not know how long we can continue with this situation because we have been using our pocket money since the time of the election campaign,” said Nai Hong Mon, the secretary of the AMDP office in Mudon Township.

Nai Ngwe Thein teaches English language to Mon students in Moulmein as a volunteer. However, his students provide him with about 40,000 kyat a month. Including money that his children provide him, he earns a total of about 100,000 kyat a month, he said.

“I stay at a Mon monastery when I go to Rangoon for meetings with representatives of other ethnic political parties. My monthly money is not enough if I stay at a hotel,” he said.

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