KNU Leadership Committee Shakeup: Chairperson Wins, Vice Chairperson Loses Re-Election

By Saw Yan Naing 7 April 2017

The Karen National Union’s (KNU) former chairperson Saw Mutu Say Poe and former general secretary Padoh Kwe Htoo Win were elected to the organization’s 41-member central standing committee (CSC) on Friday, positioning them to once again hold leadership roles in the KNU.

Yet, according to Karen language news outlet Kwekalu, the former vice chairperson Naw Zipporah Sein was not elected to the CSC, and will not have a chance to compete for a spot on the KNU’s decision-making body: the central executive committee (CEC).

The KNU’s joint secretaries 1 and 2—Saw Thaw Thee Bwe and Padoh Mahn Mahn—were also not re-elected, eliminating them as contenders for the organization’s top positions.

KNU representatives elected the 41 CSC members out of 60 candidates.

Another 14 leaders—Brigadier Generals within the KNU’s seven brigades and chairmen of the KNU’s seven districts—automatically serve as CSC members and will join the 41 elected candidates, making a total of 55 CSC members.

According to the KNU’s Constitution, the organization’s top five leaders will select another six CEC members to form the 11-member body. The five leaders—including the chairman, vice chairman and general secretary—will be elected on Saturday.