Three ethnic Kachin parties will meet later this month to discuss plans to form a single party, according to a lower house MP from Kachin State.
Lamar Naw Aung of the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP) said that the meeting, to be held on 24 April, was a response to public calls for unity among Kachin political parties.
“There are too many parties, which makes it difficult to win in elections, so we’ve decided to work toward joining forces,” he said
The three parties — the KSDP, the Kachin Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kachin Nationalities Congress for Democracy (KNCD) — all competed in the 2015 general elections but won only five seats between them.
The KNCD’s Si Si Naw said that a number of issues will need to be hashed out when the parties meet in Myitkyina.
“We are aiming to work together as one party, but some parties are already allied with the United Nationalities Alliance and the National League for Democracy. So we need to discuss this among ourselves, as well as negotiate on policies and standards,” he said.
Besides the three ethnic Kachin parties, there are two other ethnic minority parties registered in Kachin State — the Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Part, representing the Shan-ni, or Red Shan, people, and the Lisu National Development Party, which campaigns on behalf of the Lisu people.