The Irrawaddy

Combining Mon Parties Select Name for New Political Party

MON STATE—Ethnic Mon politicians have selected a name under which they will establish a new political party, with Sept. 21 to be the date they will make the official announcement on the agreement to join as one political force, according to local sources.

Members of the Mon National Party (MNP), the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP), another group focused on representing all ethnic Mon, and some CSOs have agreed on the title ‘Mon Party’ for their future participation in elections as one political force representing the people of Mon ethnicity who live in southern Myanmar.

Nai San Tin, the spokesperson for the Mon Party, told The Irrawaddy that his party firstly asked the people for suggestions for the name to give their new political party and received a total of 49 suggestions. A joint force of a number of Mon political leaders selected a final 10 names from these and from them the name ‘Mon Party’ was selected.

“We selected 10 names out of the 49 and then sent them back again to our ethnic people to select one final name,” he said.

Many ethnic Mon agreed to use ‘Mon Party’, which he said was a “decision not from us, it was from our people.”

Mon leaders will celebrate their joining as one force at Royal Hinthar Hotel in Moulmein on Sept. 21 when they plan to officially announce the new party’s name.

The leaders of the new Mon Party are required to write a constitution for the party, and they must then go to register it officially in Naypyidaw.

Before the merging of the parties, each had their own draft party constitution, which the party leaders will combine to create a new one-party constitution which will be appropriate for the current political Mon situation, said Nai San Tin.

In the 2015 elections, the MNP and AMRDP won a total of only four seats in the state legislature, where the National League for Democracy holds the majority.

Some ethnic Mon citizens protested against the two parties after the election for not heeding their calls to merge and asked them again to do so as soon as possible. Their critics added to the pressure by suggesting the possibility of forming a third, alternative Mon party.

The new Mon Party has formed a central committee of 100 members and a central executive committee of 44 members, with members of the MNP and AMRDP each filling a 50-50 share of the seats. The new party will run in the 2020 election.

“We were able to form one political force according to the wish of our ethnicity today. We have had this wish for a long time. It is time for our Mon ethnicity to be glad,” he said.