Youth representatives from five allied ethnic political parties around Burma met in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina to draw up a strategy for winning as many seats as possible in the coming general election.
Naw Hkung, who is in charge of the Kachin State People’s Party’s (KSPP) youth department, said that the meeting took place from July 29-20 and this was the first time it had been held.
“We wanted people to know that they cannot form a government without votes from ethnic states,” he told KNG, adding that the meeting was also a brainstorming session geared toward future cooperation.
The parties in attendance were the KSPP, the Karen National Democratic Party (KNDP), the Mon Unity Party (MUP), the Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD), and the Kayah State Democratic Party (KSDP).
Naw Hkung said that they are next planning to meet youth from ethnic Rakhine and Shan political parties, even though they are not members of the same alliance of state-based parties.
Mai Mun De Sang, who is in charge of the CNLD’s youth department, said that ethnic youth are looking for parties to support beyond the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD).
“We expected many things in the democratic transition. That’s why we supported the NLD and voted for the NLD,” Mai Mun De Sang said. “I think youth are interested in politics in the 2020 general election, because the ruling party hasn’t implemented their election campaign promises, so youth are not satisfied with what the ruling party is doing.”
The CNLD representative also said that in the 2020 elections, “ethnic state-based political parties will be stronger” and gain greater youth support.
According to the Union Election Commission, there were a total of 35 million voters in Burma for the 2015 general election. Five million more youth will have turned 18 years old by the election in November 2020, raising the total number of voters to 40 million.