July Chai – Two Mon political parties—the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) established in 2010 and the newly named Mon Democracy Party (MDP)—agreed to unify into a single party by 2012.
At a meting on July 14 in Thandi Thukha Mon monastery in the Myay Ni Gone Quarter of Moulmein, senior leaders from the two political parties decided to merge, according to senior monk Ven. Khayma Non Dae, a chief negotiator in the meeting.
“When the two party leaders were asked whether they agreed to merge or not, both said they agree.”
AMRDP senior leaders sent three representatives and MDP sent five representatives to the negotiation. About 15 Mon senior monks were present to serve as negotiators and observers, and two leaders from the New Mon State Party (NMSP) were also in attendance.
Now that a verbal agreement to merge has been reached, MDP representative Nai Soe Myint said the groups must decide on the appropriate methods of how to merge, how to share responsibilities, and how to set up political strategy.
“Today, the two parties agreed to become one, but we will find another good day to meet and further discuss how to merge”.
In April, a 4-point agreement was drafted to outline the unification of the two Mon parties. The document specified that the two groups meet regularly to discuss the best options for merging, but over the last two months, leaders could not reach an agreement and negotiators were frequently disappointed.
Many Mon political factions, including the umbrella organization the Mon Affairs Union (MAU) and the NMSP, have been requesting that the two parties unify.
The MDP is the new name for former Mon political party the Mon National Democratic Party (MNDF), which won five seats in the 1990 elections.
The AMRDP was formed in 2010 to participate in that year’s elections. Sixteen of their candidates were elected to the Mon State and Union Parliaments in both the People Parliament and Nationalities Parliament.