There are three political parties in Mon State, namely the Mon National Party (MNP), the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP) and the Women’s Party (Mon). The MNP and the AMDP are the two primary parties. A representative of the AMDP, Dr. Aung Naing Oo, was [re]elected during the 2015 elections while three
representatives, including Dr. Min Kyi Win, Nai Thi Ha, and Dr. Min Soe Lin, of MNP, were elected for their respective constituencies.
However, the Mon political parties lost major votes to the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won in landslides during the elections.
There are many reasons why Mon political parties lost votes but the major reason is that the Mon political parties decided not to merge as one. Due to that, they received separate votes and were defeated by the NLD.
To ensure a Mon political parties’ merger, a group of Mon activists, young people and prominent monks negotiated with the two parties before and after the elections. However, it did not succeed and subsequently the parties are still running on their own agendas.
However, the chairman of New Mon State Party (NMSP) has decided to work towards a merger of the two primary political parties.
On June 5, Nai Banyar Aung, editor of Mon News Agency (MNA) interviewed Nai Htaw Mon, chairman of New Mon State Party (NMSP). The interview covers how the NMSP will work towards the merger of two main Mon political parties.
MNA: The NMSP stated that it would work towards unifying the two primary Mon political parties. However, the MNP is in alliance with the NMSP, while the AMDP is not. So, could you please explain how the NMSP will handle these allegiances?
Nai Htaw Mon: We believe that there should only be one Mon political party. Due to the absence of a unified party, the parties lost the 2015 elections as they received divided votes. We believe that to fight within the limits of the law, there should be only one Mon party. We decided at our central committee conference, under counsel from Mon monks, that we will work for the parties to become one. It was agreed by the central committee that NMSP should lead this matter and work for the merger of the parties. We have already founded a group that will work towards a parties’ merger and we are still in discussion with the monks on the matter.
Regarding the alliance, after the NMSP signed a ceasefire agreement with SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) in 1995, the leaders of the Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF) [former name of the MNP] allied with our leaders, Nai Shwe Kyin and Nai Htin, former chairmen of the NMSP. Their political road-map was identical to ours and because our leaders made an alliance with them, we continue to acknowledge that alliance today.
MNA: So, what about the AMDP?
Nai Htaw Mon: The AMDP was founded in 2010. However, we do not know the exacts details of their political road-map. Also, they have never requested to meet us. Additionally, we have not considered allying with them [AMDP] as of yet. Over the past a few months, the members of both parties promised at several meetings that they would merge. However, up until this today they have yet merge. Therefore, we had to dissolve the group working for [Mon] nationals because the two political parties did not merge.
MNA: With this current situation, what acknowledgement does the NMSP still have for the two parties?
Nai Htaw Mon: In order to be able to merge the two parties as one, we once again recognize the AMDP as a group that is working for the [Mon] people’s benefit. We will continue to work towards finding solutions for the merger. But I am unsure how to unify these two parties. We will discuss with the monks and find methods for this merger. This should not include only monks but politicians. We have recognized AMDP as a group that works for the people benefits. It must be said, the MNP is already our ally. Since the formation of the alliance, we have met with the MNP (from time to time).
We are not leaving any party behind. We also wish to form an alliance with the AMDP. Still, we have to analyze whether we can be their ally or not. It is necessary to know and be clear with their policy.
MNA: What else do you want to add?
Nai Htaw Mon: If there is no peace in our country, there won’t be success in national matters. Therefore, I would like to urge our political parties and every citizen to work hard towards establishing peace. Everyone should value national unity and work towards it. We all should work for achieving peace. If we gain peace, we will be able to find true political solutions. This will then lead to development for the new generation. If the political issue is not solved, it will be a burden for the country. This means we will continue to have [civil] wars. However, with this new government, the achievement of true peace has potential. For the achievement of peace, our responsibilities are to work for the whole country, on one hand, while we also work for our own national interests on the another hand. For such achievements, let us all work toward them, hand in hand and cooperatively.
MNA: thank you very much for your time.