The two largest Mon political parties will meet informally this week against the backdrop of recent mass resignations and a growing chorus of support for the unification of Mon ethnic politics.
The All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) and the Mon National Party (MNP) will meet on November 8, according to leaders from both parties.Each party will send a three-member delegation to discuss the potential for merging their factions.
While Mon monks and local leaders have attempted to unify the two Mon parties since 2012, a formal merger has proved elusive amid competing agendas and power structures.
Rather than seeking an intermediary third party for their upcoming informal negotiations, at this stage, the Mon leaders have dipped into talks directly.
Nai San Tin. the AMRDP’s joint secretary, said he expects the parties will start by establishing mutual trust.
Both parties have been hit with member resignations recently. At the end of October, seven members of the AMRDP’s Mawlamyine office submitted resignations, citing the leadership’s incisiveness toward the potential merger. In August, 63 members left the MNP, citing similar issues.
The AMRDP registered as a party in 2010 and currently has over 20,000 members in Mon State, Kayin (Karen) State and Tanintharyi Region. The party won one seat in the Mon State hluttaw in 2015.
The MNP holds two state hluttaw seats, one Amyotha Hluttaw seat and has more than 70,000 members across nine townships in Mon State, four townships in Karen State and three in Tanintharyi Region.