Incumbent MPs reluctant to see Mon parties merge

Incumbent MPs reluctant to see Mon parties merge

Several incumbent Mon MPs appear reluctant to see the unification of the region’s two main political parties, claims the secretary of the Mon Democracy Party (MDP) which has tentatively reached an agreement to merge with the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP), as reported last month by DVB.

Following a meeting between representatives of the two Mon parties in state capital Moulmein on Sunday, an agreement was made that the name of the new coalition party would be the Mon National Party (MNP) and that further discussions would take place in January to discuss the framework of the alliance and its registration as an official party.

But according to MDP secretary Min Soe Lin, the merger has been met with resistance, mostly from incumbent MPs, several of whom represent the AMRDP.

“Some politicians support the merger, some are indifferent, and some oppose the alliance,” he told DVB. “Most of the Buddhist monks support the merger, but incumbent MPs, including the state minister, are resisting the change.”

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Another meeting has been scheduled for 15 January when policies will be discussed and, ideally, 15 representatives will be chosen as leaders of the new alliance, said Min Soe Lin, adding that the MDP will gladly fold in favour of the alliance. However, some members of the AMRDP say they are not ready for such a merger, and it remains in doubt whether that party will do likewise, he said.

AMRDP’s co-general-secretary Nai San Tin said the party will make a decision after a Centre Executive Committee meeting next week.

“If we agree to such an alliance we will announce it at a press conference,” he said.

The parties first began merger talks in early 2012.

The MDP first formed in 1988 under the name Mon National Democracy Party (MNDP), which was officially abolished by the military junta after it won seats in the May 1990 general election. Following the ban, many MNDP party officials, including Min Seo Lin, a medical doctor, were imprisoned. 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, at which it won 16 seats in the Mon state parliament.

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