KNPP Concludes Congress, Re-Elects Chairperson

By Nyein Nyein 11 May 2017

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP)—an ethnic armed group fighting for self-determination—concluded its weeklong congress on Thursday at its headquarters in the Karenni State-Thai border area, and reelected its current chairperson Khun Abel Tweed.

The KNPP had a bilateral ceasefire agreement with the previous government in 2012, but have not have signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). The organization is currently in talks with the National League for Democracy government’s peace negotiators under the ethnic armed alliance the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), of which it is a member.

Around 200 KNPP representatives joined the congress from May 3-11, and voted in the new members of the central committee, including the chairperson.

The KNPP hold its congress every four years, during which, its members listen to reports of the organization’s progress and activities, and elects new leadership. The issues involved in this year’s congress centered on the peace process, drug eradication and rehabilitation, and programs for women and youth.

Regarding the signing of the NCA and joining the second round of the 21st Century Panglong peace conference later this month, Gen Bee Htoo, the KNPP’s military chief, told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that the issue will be discussed at the upcoming central committee meeting next week.

On May 17-18, central committee members will meet to assign responsibilities to each member and to discuss their future plans and activities. They will also appoint the secretariat team, Gen Be Htoo said.

The KNPP’s former vice chairman Khu Oo Reh—also the head of the UNFC’s peace negotiation team—was elected as a member of the permanent central committee.

The KNPP has said it would follow the NCA’s prescribed path, if the government agrees to the UNFC’s nine-point proposal on the matter.