The United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), commonly known as Mongla group, will not allow Naypyitaw’s election commission to enter their controlled territories on the Sino-Burma border, according to sources coming to the Thai-Burma border.
During their meetings with junta negotiators on 20 August, Naypyitaw had reportedly informed them that the EC officials, accompanied by junta security forces, would be visiting them to explain about the upcoming elections.
“ Both Mongla and Wa replied that since both had decided not to participate in the elections, there was no need for either the EC officials or the Burma Army to visit them,” said a source close to the Mongla leadership.
The EC, however, will be able to organize elections in Hopang (minus Namteuk which is under Wa control), Markmang aka Metman (minus Pangyang under Wa control) and Mongyang (minus Mongpawk and Hsaleu under Wa and Mongla control respectively). Hopang and Markmang are under the Burma Army control.
Only 2 out of 6 townships that have been collectively designated as Wa Self Administered Division will therefore participate in the upcoming polls.
The Wa, Mongla, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Shan State Army (SSA) North have all been “ordered” to surrender their arms by 1 September. All 4 have declared their refusal to the demand.
According to Richard Horsey, independent analyst and former ILO liaison officer in Burma, a total of 176 seats will be contested in Shan State’s 55 townships:
- Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives)
- 55 seats
- Amyotha Hluttaw (House of Nationalities)
- 12 seats (5reserved for 5 self administered areas: Wa, PaO, Palaung, Danu and Kokang)
- State Hluttaw (State Legislature)
- 109 seats (minus 8 seats for 4 townships under Wa control, but plus 7 seats for minorities each with a population of over 59,000)
There are two Wa parties contesting for Wa seats: Wa Democratic Party (WDP) led by Khun Tun Lu and Wa National Unity Party (WNUP) led by Philip Hsam. The WDP has been charged by Wa critics as a nominee of the ruling military junta.