A bid by former Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) leader Dr Tuja to form a political party was approved by the Union Election Commission (UEC) on 30 October.
Manam Tuja, the former vice-chairman of the KIO, said he was informed by the UEC via telephone and fax that an application to set up a new party, the Kachin State Democracy Party, with him as chairman, has been approved. He said he will be prioritising the completion of the registration process within one month and enlisting the support of 500 members within 90 days in accordance with the Political Parties Registration regulation.
“The party’s leadership is travelling Naypyidaw to submit our flag, emblem, policies and framework to the UEC in order to begin the registration process,” said Manam Tuja.
He said the party’s 17 founders include seasoned politicians, women and youths.
The party’s flag bears a lone white star on a green background while the emblem will be a mythical bird from Kachin folklore.
Manam Tuja said his party will work in the interest of all people, of any ethnicity or religion, within Kachin state.
“Our aim is to work for our region’s development and for matters of public interest while also encouraging the non-disintegration of the union and ethnic unity,” he said, adding that they will also focus on drug elimination, improving education and health standards, and the rule of law.
He promised the party will accept complaints from victims of human rights violations and assist them in liaising with the relevant authorities and organisations.
Manam Tuja previously formed the Kachin State Progressive Party in 2009 in a bid to compete in the 2010 elections, but its application was rejected by the UEC on the grounds that he and other founders were former members of the KIO.
He once again attempted to join the by-elections in 2012 as an independent candidate in Mogaung township, however the polls in that township were cancelled for security reasons due to clashes between the KIO and the Burmese army.