An ethnic Palaung party had applied for registration with the Election Commission on 8 April to be allowed to contest in the forthcoming general elections, according to Mai Ai Phone, Chairman of Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF).
The application took place on the same day with the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) led by Sai Ai Pao, the well to do salt trader from Namkham who has made his home in Rangoon.
The party’s name is Palaung National Party (PNP). Its founding Chairman is Mai Ai Mong, 63, the former Chairman of the Palaung State Liberation Army (PSLA) one of the ceasefire groups that was forced to surrender in 2005.
It is one of the Shan State groups seeking registration.
However, the party has yet to decide about in which townships it is going to contest, because the party has just submitted application for registration, said Mai Ai Phone. “The party’s policies are still undisclosed.”
According to the 2008 constitution, Palaung people were given 2 townships: Mantong and Namhsan in Northern Shan State as their self administrative zone.
The Palaungs, who call themselves Ta-ang, come from the Mon-Khmer stock, the same family that includes Mon, Cambodians and Wa. Together with PaO, they are the second largest in population in Shan State, according to the pre-1962 Shan State Government statistics.