MAWLAMYINE, Mon State — A total of 63 Mon National Party (MNP) members from the Kyaikmayaw Township chapter in Mon State resigned on Wednesday over their disappointment with what they said was indecisive leadership on a planned merger with the All Mon Region Democracy (AMDP).
“We’ve watched the actions of our party leaders since the 2015 election. We anticipated the merger, but it didn’t happen. We’ve long been disappointed with this, and finally submitted our resignation today,” said Mi Jun Del Non, an MNP central executive committee (CEC) member.
She will work toward the merger as an independent politician, she said. The vice-chairperson, general secretary and executives of the township’s chapter were among those who also resigned.
MNP boasts a membership of more than 70,000 in nine townships in Mon State, four townships in Karen State and three townships in Tanintharyi Region. The Kyaikmayaw chapter has more than 1,000 members.
On July 13-15, the MNP held a CEC meeting which saw the expulsion of two CEC members and four central committee members including Dr. Min Soe Lin, who won the seat for Ye Township in the 2015 general election. The dismissals were reportedly because of the six members’ strong support for the merger.
The idea of a merger was presented in 2012. In April the following year, representatives of two parties signed an agreement on the merger in front of Mon people, but it has been continuously stalled by struggles to find common ground on the terms of a coalition.
In the 2015 election, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won the majority of votes in the state, which many Mon blamed on votes being split between the two Mon parties.
“If there was only one ethnic Mon Party, it would win the election. This has been shown clearly in the 2015 general election. I would like to ask why we can’t merge, but don’t know who to ask,” said Min Nyan Linn, general secretary of MNP’s Kyaikmayaw branch.
In August last year, the Mon National Conference called for unity among Mon parties. Then under the guidance of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), a committee to build unity among Mon parties was formed in October the same year.
But after the resignation of the NMSP from the committee in May this year, work on coordination between the two parties has stalled.
In January, about 300 Mon youth in Lamine sub-township in Ye Township protested against the leaders of the AMDP and MNP after they refused to combine their parties. Growing calls to form a new Mon political party followed the protest.
Dr. Aung Naing Oo, the deputy speaker of Mon State parliament, resigned from AMDP in July also because of the lack of progress in the coalition.
MNP was formed in 1988 as Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF), registered as Mon Democracy Party (MDP) in 2012, and in 2014 changed its name to the current one MNP.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.