Arakan Front Party Rallies for 2020

By Min Aung Khine 14 November 2018

SITTWE, Rakhine State — The Arakan Front Party will work to forge alliances with other political parties to form a coalition government in the 2020 general elections, said party leader Dr. Aye Maung after his trial at Sittwe District Court on Monday.

The Union Election Commission approved Dr. Aye Maung’s proposal to form the Arakan Front Party on Oct. 11.

“We will ally with parties like those led by U Ko Ko Gyi [of the People’s Party] that will mobilize support from Bamars in seven regions. It is important that they don’t compete in ethnic regions because we will also ally with ethnic parties,” he said.

“What will happen in Myanmar politics if a third party emerges after we form alliances? The vote in seven regions of the country will be split among three parties. If we win in a state we will form a coalition government in 2020,” he said.

The coalition government in 2020 would include ethnic minorities and Bamars, he said. The party will include people from all professions including retired military and police officers, lawyers, and engineers so that they can be assigned to different tasks for the better performance of the party, he said.

U Tin Maung Win, the son of Dr. Aye Maung won the Nov. 3 by-election for a seat in the Rakhine State Parliament for Rathedaung Township. Dr. Aye Maung earlier said that he would leave politics if his son did not win the by-election.

“My son’s victory is my victory and is also the initial victory of my party. We aim to lead all of Rakhine State by 2020 and our party has a lean structure,” he told the media.

U Tin Maung Win won the by-election in Rathedaung Constituency, defeating the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Arakan National Party (ANP), which Dr. Aye Maung chaired previously.

“We have learned a lot from the loss. We urgently need to rally public support with loyal party members who have faith in the party and will reform accordingly,” general secretary of the ANP U Tun Aung Kyaw told The Irrawaddy.

Regarding the NLD’s loss in ethnic constituencies in the Nov. 3 by-election, Dr. Aye Maung remarked: “Why did the NLD lose in the by-election? Its strategy regarding ethnic regions is wrong. It needs to review this.”

Dr. Aye Maung, who is also a lawmaker in the Upper House, was arrested in the second week of January in Sittwe, the state capital, for remarks at a commemoration event in Rathedaung Township earlier that month for the 233rd anniversary of the fall of the Arakan Kingdom to the Burmese in 1785.

He is facing three charges—high treason, unlawful association and defamation of the State.

The Rakhine State High Court has accepted Dr. Aye Maung’s appeal to make a second decision about the charges, and the prosecutor and defense lawyer will argue at the next trial on Nov. 27 whether or not the charges should be dismissed.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.