A newly formed Shan political party, ‘the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP)’led by Sai Ai Pao, a well-to-do owner of a salt mill in Rangoon, has reportedly registered to contest in the upcoming general elections today.
“However, the party is not sure whether the junta will accept their registration or not,” a Shan resident in Rangoon told SHAN.
The party was formed after a two day meeting held in Rangoon a few days ago by Shans from towns such as Namkham, Kyaukme, Rangoon, Mandalay, Taunggyi, Panglong, Mongkawng (Moegaung in Kachin State) aiming for the Shan people to have choices in the elections.
The party elected Sai Saung Si, former elected representative of Kyaukme constituency No#2 in 1990, as Vice Chairman. The party also chose 15 people as CEC members.
“If there is no ethnic political party, and only has the junta backed party, then people won’t have any choice but to choose the party they are offered,” a Shan resident in Ragoon told SHAN. “Then, the junta will win the seats by acclamation.”
Another party is the Union Democratic Alliance Organization (UDAO) formed by the veteran Shan politician Shwe Ohn. It has already applied for registration for months. There are altogether12 political parties that have registered for the elections, according to media reports.
For the SNLD, it will not contest until the party is allowed to discuss with its Chairman, Hkun Htun Oo, who is serving a 93 year jail sentence in Puta-O prison in Kachin State, according to party spokesman Sai Leik.