During the meeting both sides agreed to the new name of the party and three other points. It was decided that the new party will include 15 representatives from the AMDP and that any member of the AMDP is be welcome to join the MNP. It was also agreed that a followup meeting will take place later in January.
“Although not every member of the AMDP would like to unite [the parties], we will go ahead and make unification with those who want to. Those who do not want to unite now are welcome to join at any time. The door is always open for them,” said MDP Vice-chairman 2, Nai Tin Aung. According to Nai Tin Aung the MNP is making plans to submit party registration to the national election commission.
“We will dissolve the MDP officially after the election commission grants approval for the MNP. The AMDP seems to be divided in two, so I cannot comment this yet,” Nai Tin Aung added.
“It has been about two years of negotiating for the two parties to unite. But because some members do not want to unify, only those who want to will unite,” says the chairman of AMDP Nai Ngwe Thein. He does not yet know how many members from the AMDP will join the new party.
The meeting took place at the Dhartumalar Mon Monastery in the Zejo quarter of Moulmein. Present at the meeting was MDP Chairman Nai Ngwe Thein, Vice-chairman 2 Nai Tin Aung and 10 other members of the party. 8 members from the AMDP were also present.
“For us, we can understand their concerns. We should not push them [to unite] if they do not want to. So, only those who want to join should do so. And for those who do not have time and do not want to unite yet they are welcome to do later and the door is open for them,” said a monk, who serves as member of the parties unification negotiating team.
“If we do not unify, we cannot compete with the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) for this upcoming elections. They are quite strong. And we, Mon political parties, will have divided votes. So we are now unifying following the people’s wishes,” said Dr. Aung Naing Oo, a member of the AMDP’s central committee.
“Because of the politic situation,the different parties’ basic policies and the unsuitable conditions for unification, we do not want to unite yet,” AMDP Joint-secretary 1, Min San Tin said.
Min San Tin pointed out that while the AMDP would like to amend the 2008 constitution, the MDP wants to write a new one, some members of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) who are on a black list transferred to the MDP. Min San Tin also said that the two parties have different networks. If the NLD boycotts the 2015 elections the MDP won’t contest the election, he said.
Like the NLD, the MDP did not register to contest the 2010 general elections. The MDP sought party reregistration only after the NLD did in 2012.
The AMDP and the MDP released a joint-statement on Oct. 13, 2012, stating that both parties would unify by the end of 2014 under a new party name.