Yangon, February (10)

Some political parties have resorted to registering for elections in just one state or region due to restrictions placed by the junta-established Union Election Commission (UEC) on the registration of political parties.

According to the provisions of the Political Parties Registration Law, a party that will organize the entire union must open party offices in at least 165 townships within 180 days, with 100,000 party members and Ks 100 million in funds, within 90 days from the date of registration.

U Aung Khin, chairman of the Shan-ni (Tai Lyan) Solidarity Party (SSP), told Than Lwin Times that he plans to register the party next month only for Sagaing Region due to legal restrictions. He added, “We can’t establish offices in half of the country’s townships. We will only register the party for Sagaing region because many of the party members are from there”.

U Aung Khin said that the Shan-ni Solidarity Party (SSP), previously registered as a nationwide organizing party, competed in the constituencies where the Shan-ni ethnic groups live in Sagaing region and Kachin state in 2020 general election.

According to the miliary regime’s political parties registration law, if the party will carry out organizational activities only within the region or state, at least 1,000 party members will be mobilized and the party shall have a party fund of Ks 10 million at Myanma Economic Bank.

In addition, a party that will organize only in one region or state needs to open party offices in at least five townships in that region or state.

The chairman of the Karen National Development Party (KNDP), Mann Aung Pyi Soe, told Than Lwin Times that there are two ethnic Karen political parties in Karen State, and the founders of the parties are still in the negotiation stage regarding party registration.

He added that Karen State based Karen National Development Party (KNDP) and The Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party are still negotiating whether or not to merge into one party.

U Tha Tun Hla, the chairman of the Arakan National Party (ANP), which was previously registered as a party that will organize the entire union, told the Than Lwin Times that there will be discussions within the party.

Legal experts point out that due to the limitations of the political parties registration law, most political parties are likely to be dissolved, and the remaining parties can only run in one region or state.

Within 60 days of this Law’s promulgation, the existing parties that wish to continue as political parties must submit an application to the Commission. The status of a political party shall be presumed to have been immediately invalidated if no such application is submitted.

According to the Union Election Commission of the Military Council, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the Myanmar Peoples Democratic Party have submitted applications to date for registering as a political party. News-Than Lwin Times

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