88 Generation faction to form political party by end of 2017

By HEIN KO SOE | FRONTIER

YANGON — Members of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society plan to form a new political party by the end of the year, Frontier has learned.

Senior leaders of the civil society group, which grew out of student activists involved in the 1988 protest movement, last month formed a 60-person organizing committee to coordinate the party’s formation and registration.

The plan is being steered by several of the 88 Generation’s most high-profile members, including Ko Ko Gyi, Ko Mya Aye and Ko Marky.

“We think it will be ready for the end of the year, but it depends on the results of our upcoming discussions planned for May,” Ko Marky told Frontier on Thursday.

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He added the May meeting would extend an invitation to all members of the 88 Generation, along with veteran activists from anti-government protests between 1962 and 2007 and other democracy campaigners.

Ko Ko Gyi, who spent a total of 17 years in prison during the junta years, was passed over for consideration as a National League for Democracy candidate ahead of the 2015 elections along with nearly all other 88 Generation leaders.

Soon after, he told The Irrawaddy that he planned to establish his own political party and campaigned for anti-corruption campaigner Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, who unsuccessfully sought election to the Pyithu Hluttaw as an independent after her candidacy was rejected by the NLD.

Other 88 Generation leaders have distanced themselves from the new party, with Ko Jimmy confirming he and Ko Min Ko Naing would continue to focus on their civil society work.

Ko Jimmy told Frontier that while the pair were not participating in the new party, there was no rift in the 88 Generation.

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