SNDP sets sights on 50% election success rate

SNDP sets sights on 50% election success rate

The Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, or SNDP, says it aims to win more than 50 percent of all seats it competes for in this year’s general election.

Speaking at an SNDP conference in Shan State capital Taunggyi on Tuesday, the SNDP’s Deputy-chairperson Ye Htun said, “If we are the majority or ruling party, we will be empowered to fulfil the needs of the local population, as well as Shan people living in other regions.

“We will also aim to shape a true federal union,” he said.

The lower house MP also said the party was looking to field candidates in at least 63 constituencies: 43 in Shan State; nine in Kachin; four in Karenni; four in Sagaing Division; and three in Mandalay Division.

Ye Htun said the SNDP will coordinate with other ethnic Shan-based parties to avoid overlapping constituencies.

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He said many party representatives at the two-day conference raised the issue of drug-related problems in their townships, and that the party has made a decision to work together with various organisations to alleviate drug problems.

The 16-17 February conference was joined by almost 1,000 party representatives from more than 40 townships.

The SNDP currently holds 31 of 143 seats in the Shan regional assembly. It also has 18 MPs in the 440-seat lower house (pyithu hluttaw); and four representatives in the 224-seat upper house (amyotha hluttaw).

Commonly known as the White Tiger Party and headed by Sai Ai Pao, the SNDP scored a historic victory in the 2012 by-election when it beat out the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) to win an upper house seat in northern Shan State. It was the only one of 44 constituencies that the NLD contested across the country that it did not win.

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