Region
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In 2010, Kachin State saw five parties contest a total of 30 Union Parliament seats, including one political party catering to ethnic Shan constituents, but no party claiming to explicitly or exclusively represent the state’s Kachin majority. The state will get such parties this year, with the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP) and other “Kachin” parties set to contest a much more crowded 2015 field.

Fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), as well as allied ethnic Palaung and Arakanese armed groups, is expected to dominate election stump speeches during the 2015 campaign period. The 2011 breakdown of a 17-year ceasefire between the government and the KIA has led to sporadic fighting throughout the last four years, displacing more than 100,000 people. Despite the ongoing hostilities, the KIA has participated in negotiations to secure a nationwide ceasefire between Naypyidaw and most of the country’s ethnic armed groups.

The state’s rich endowment of natural resources, and how to divide that wealth between state and Union governments, is also likely to be a topic of conversation as talks continue on the nature of a future federal Burma.

Kachin State returns 18 lawmakers to the Union Parliament’s Lower House and 12 to the Upper House. The regional legislature is made up of 38 elected parliamentarians, including four ethnic affairs representatives, and 13 appointed military MPs.

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  • Myitkyina
  • Waingmaw
  • Injangyang
  • Tanai
  • Chipwi
  • Tsawlaw
  • Mohnyin
  • Mogaung
  • Hpakant
  • Bhamo
  • Shwegu
  • Momauk
  • Mansi
  • Putao
  • Sumprabum
  • Machanbaw
  • Nawngmun
  • Khaunglanhpu
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The Kachin State Democracy Party was founded by Dr. Tu Ja, former vice president No. 2 of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). The former ex-rebel leader first tried to establish a party ahead...

The National League for Democracy was born out of the political tumult of 1988, when a massive pro-democracy uprising rocked the nation and toppled the government of Gen. Ne Win. It subsequently...

The National Unity Party says its boasts a membership of about 500,000 and has offices in 306 of Burma’s 330 townships. The party is likely to be one of the most pervasive presences on the campaign...

The Shan Nationalities Democratic Party ran for more than 100 seats in Burma’s 2010 general election and won 57. It also won a seat in the 2012 by-election, the only party to win a contest other...

The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy claims to have more than 40,000 members and has established 82 branch offices across Shan State, and in some Mandalay Division and Karenni State locations,...

The Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party is fielding the second largest number of candidates among ethnic parties in Kachin State, trailing only the Kachin State Democracy Party. Nationwide, the...

The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) was formed in 2010 to contest the general election that year as a political vehicle for many of Burma’s former military leaders. The party...

ETHNIC ISSUES

Two Tai-Leng Party Members Shot Dead in Kachin State

Two members of the Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party were shot and killed in separate incidents in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township last week.
ETHNIC ISSUES

No Election Watershed for Ethnic Minorities: Report

Research finds that for ethnic minorities, Burma’s much-anticipated election will do little to remedy decades-extant political, economic and social grievances, regardless of its outcome.
CAMPAIGN TRAIL

In War-Torn Kachin, Suu Kyi Sells NLD as Party for Peace

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi tours war-torn Kachin State, urging voters to choose her National League for Democracy to better prospects for regional peace.