Feb 2, 2009 (DVB), Shan leader Shwe Ohn has said he will stand for election in 2010, despite his opposition to the State Peace and Development Council's national convention and 2008 constitution.
Shwe Ohn, 87, said he had written to the chair of the State Peace and Development Council, the Internal Affairs Ministry and the Electoral Commission on 26 January to register his party, the Union Democracy League, for the 2010 election.
"It’s a bit new for people who have only just heard about the formation of the political party," Shwe Ohn said.
"I have been talking about it for six years now. I was not allowed to form the party before."
Shwe Ohn said he had used the word 'Union' in the party name to include the 135 national races of Burma and has been openly preparing the party manifesto.
When asked whether his participation in the 2010 election undermined the results of the 1990 election and minimised his imprisonment with Hkun Htun Oo for opposing the national convention, Shwe Ohn said he felt he had to work within the current system.
"I have said from the beginning that I don’t like it, I don’t support it. But inevitably, I have to accept it," Shwe Ohn said.
"Accepting it is different from supporting it. We shouted our opposition to the referendum, but it was finished," he said.
"We did not like the way it finished, but we did not have the strength to destroy it."
Shwe Ohn said now was the time to be pragmatic and make strategies for the situation as it is and not as the opposition might like it to be.
"I think it will hurt us more if we keep on shouting when there is no possibility [of success]," he said.
"It has nothing to do with whether we like what happened in the past. Even if we do not like it we have to accept it if we can’t dismantle it," he explained.
"That’s what’s called realpolitik. We can’t keep on imagining things are the way we want them to be, good and useful to people."
Shwe Ohn is a member of the United Nationalities League for Democracy and attended the Panglong conference in 1947 as a reporter.
Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw