Retired NMSP leaders may form party to join 2010 election

Recently retired members of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) appear to be poised to from a second Mon political party to participate in the coming 2010 election.

The three ex-NMSP members, Central Executive Committee (CEC) member Nai Chan Toi, Central Committee (CC) member Nai Tin Hla, and CC member Nai Htaw Auein, filed to retire from the NMSP party after the party refuse the final offer of the Burmese State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to reform its armed wing as a border guard force.

The members were officially recognized by the NMSP as retired during the 2ndweek of May.

But the ex senior officials actions since retirement have led some members within their old party, and outside, to suspect the three of preparing to form another political party prior to the 2010 election.

“Now [these] leaders have retired and some [regular] NMSP members, and they have assembled at the NMSP office [Moulmein NMSP office], but did not have permission from the NMSP,” said a current CC member of the NMSP. “The NMSP shut down their office after they reject the border guard force [proposal].”

The NMSP shut their liaison offices in Rangoon, Moulmein, Thanphyuzayart, Ye, Three Pagoda Pass, and Myawaddy after they reject the border guard force on April 22nd, out of fear of an imminent break down in the long standing ceasefire the NMSP has held with the SPDC. The NMSP has maintained a ceasefire with the SPDC since 1995 at which time the NMSP was allowed to open offices in these cities.

According to a Mon political observer, “[The] three NMSP leaders retiring [and] reopening the NMSP office – they will [likely] continue this business and they’re trying to form a [political] party to join in the election.”

A current member of the NMSP, who is with Nai Chan Toi at the shuttered NMSP office in Moulmein, told IMNA briefly that, “He [Nai Chan Toi] has arrived in the Moulmein office now, but I do not know anything,” and refuse to answer further questions when asked for details.

IMNA has also learned that the retired NMSP officials have also traveled to other closed offices, with Nai Htaw Aeuin reopening the NMSP office in Thanphyuzayart, and Nai Chan Toi reopening the office in Ye.

While the retired members have refused to comment about the suggestion of their potential effort to form a new party, a Thanphyuzayart based monk described an instance in which, “Nai Htaw Aeuin said the NMSP had allowed them to join the election”, at a gathering of monks organized by Nai Htaw Aeuin who hoped to win their support for the election.

One current senior ranking member of the NMSP, on the condition of anonymity, commented that, while the deadline for registering a political party passed on May 6th, he believes this possible new group would be given special circumstances under which to form as the government wants to show that NMSP members will participate in the election.

One political observer based along the Thai Burma border commented that a special condition could conceivably be struck, as Lt. Gen Ye Myint has made plans to visit in Moulmein this month with the Southeast Commander Maj. Gen Thet Nai Win.

According to NMSP members it is widely known in the party that the Maj. General has friendly relations with the ex-CEC member Nai Chan Toi, from their period of having attended Mouliment University together. In pervious years every time a meeting was called with the SEC Maj. General Thet Nai Win, Nai Chan Toi attended and acted as the primary liaison.

The All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) is currently the only other Mon political party prepared to participate in the 2010 election, after submitting their party information for approval by the Myanmar Union Election Commission and opening their office head quarters in Moulmein, the capitol of Mon State, in early May.

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