Two major Mon ethnic parties, the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) and the Mon Democracy Party (MDP), have tentatively reached an agreement to merge, party representatives tell DVB.
A special committee, in which both parties have equal representation, will convene on 22 November to hammer out the details of the proposed merger.
According to MDP secretary Min Soe Lin (also spelled Min Soe Linn) the committee’s 30 members will determine the new party’s flag, objectives and how best to implement a framework for registration with the Union Election Commission via secret ballot.
AMRDP’s chairman Nai Ngwe Thein told DVB that both parties opted to merge in accordance with Mon public opinion.
“All the monks and people of Mon state wish to see us as one party. It is also important to have many Mon representatives in the 2015 elections so that we will be able to self determine legislation, executive and judicial matters,” Nai Ngwe Thein said.
The parties first began merger discussions in early 2012.
The MDP first formed in 1988 using the name Mon National Democracy Party (MNDP).
The MNDP was officially abolished by military authorities after it won seats in the May 1990 national election. Following the ban many MNDP party officials, including Min Seo Lin, a medical doctor, were sent to jail. The party was later allowed to re-register using the current name in preparation for the April 2012 round of by-elections. But although the MNDP participated it failed to win any seats.
The AMRDP was established during the run-up to the November 2010 general elections; the party presently has 16 seats in the Mon State parliament.