to a statement released by the party’s 9th Congress on January 14.
“We, the NMSP, will achieve the unification of Mon political parties to form one official party. In the past, Mon monks held meetings to negotiate [the merger]. Eventually the monks had to abandon the parties’ unification [because they did not want to merge]. But as an initiative of the NMSP, we will work hard to unify the parties,” said NMSP Chairman Nai Htaw Mon.
Only four out of nearly 100 Mon party hopefuls were elected over other party candidates in last year’s election. According to Nai Htaw Mon, some voters who wanted to vote for Mon candidates were perplexed by the choice between three distinct political parties, and votes that were cast were distributed too thinly to compete with challengers from ruling and opposition groups.
“The 2015 election was a lesson for Mon people. There should be only one [Mon] party competing in elections. To merge the parties, the NMSP, Mon political parties, and Mon monks will hold discussions. We will also collect public opinions.”
Last year’s general election was contested by 52 candidates from the Mon National Party (MNP), 35 from the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMDP), four candidates from the Women’s Party (Mon), and some Mon independent candidates. Of those elected, three were from the MNP and one from AMDP.
The NMSP’s 9th Congress began on December 27 and ended on January 14 at party headquarters in Ye Chaung Phya, Mon State. The congress was attended by 150 participants including 122 NMSP representatives, 18 observers, and 10 advisors.