The recent resignation of party leader Dr. Aye Maung looks set to dominate discussions at the Arakan National Party’s (ANP’s) Annual General Meeting this week in Sittwe.
As around 100 party members gathered for the 4-7 January summit in the Rakhine state capital, several representatives voiced their disquiet with Aye Maung quitting as ANP chairman in November, and some have even proposed rejecting his letter of resignation.
Aye Maung was regarded as a party stalwart and is one of the most outspoken politicians in the country. An ex-veterinarian, his political career began when he formed the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) to contest the 2010 general election. He led the RNDP into a merger with its main regional rival, the Arakan League for Democracy (ALD), led by Aye Thar Aung. Negotiations between the two parties took some eight months before they agreed to form the ANP in January 2014. But the merger has never been a harmonious marriage, being fraught with rivalry and conflicts since the outset.
Now members must face the prospect of an ANP without its frontman, and contemplate during the four-day AGM how they can move forward.
ANP general-secretary Tun Aung Kyaw told DVB that although Aye Maung was invited to the AGM, he has not yet appeared.