Wed 29 Jul 2009, IMNA
A New Mon political committee, describing itself as a “working committee” has appeared in order to take its place in the coming 2010 election of a new Burmese government. The party has no official name yet, but, according to a source, its 15 members intend to work towards being part of a free and fair election.
The committee thus far is comprised of retired New Mon State Party (NMSP) members, members of the Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF), and retired Burmese civil servants.
The committee found after the New Mon State Party’s 14th anniversary of its ceasefire agreement, celebrated on June 29th. On May 12, 2008 NMSP released an official statement rejecting the new constitution, and said that that if Burmese government would not review their constitution, they will not participate 2010 election. During the third week of January, NMSP reaffirmed its stance by making a joint statement with the MNDF officially stated that it would not participate in the 2010 election.
“We will prepare our committee for 2010, and if Burmese government reviews their constitution to hold a free and fair election, we will form a political party and participate in the 2010 election,” said a committee member. “If the Burmese government will hold the election without listing to opposition groups opinions, we will boycott it.”
The Burmese government 7 step ‘roadmap’ to a disciplined democracy required the 2008 constitutional referendum in advance of holding the first country wide election since 1990. The constitution referendum was highly controversial, despite Burmese government claims that it was supported by 92.42 percent of the population. Many cited the failure of the government to significantly postpone the vote after Cyclone Nagris struck, and the fact that only 100,000 draft copies of the constitution were circulated in a country of 57 million. The NMDF, though currently active, was nearly wiped out after the 1990 election. When the government refused to acknowledge its loss, most of the NMDF’s leaders were arrested, it was shutdown and banned, effectively ending its ability to participate, at the time, in changing the changing Burmese country to democratic system.
Despite the rocky history of Mon democratic movements in Burma, a source in the committee describes its aim as working to advocate for the people before the 2010 election. The committee intends to analyze the situation and decide if it will join the election or not when the Burmese government announces open application period to form a party to participate in the 2010 election.