Wa leader to form new political party

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — In the wake of a lacklustre performance in last year’s general election, the former general secretary of the Wa Democratic Party has told Frontier he will form a new political party to contest future polls.

U Saing Paung Nuk, who lost the seat of Shan-12 in the Amyotha Hluttaw last November, said he had already resigned his position in the WDP and an application to found the Wa Liberal Democratic Party was currently being evaluated by government officials.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 21st Century Panglong Conference, held in Nay Pyi Taw last week, he said the new body would vigorously support the demands of the United Wa State Army to form a new ethnic Wa state in the country’s northeast.

“I accept the demand for Wa state,” he told Frontier on Friday. “It is the policy of my new party. The Wa area has a geographical position, natural resources and sufficient population to warrant a separate state. Since colonial times and after independence, successive governments have not done enough for the development of Wa nationals,” he said.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

The UWSA staged a dramatic walkout on the second day of last week’s peace conference over what organisers said was a mistake over accreditation to the armed group’s delegation.

The text of a planned speech to be delivered Thursday by the delegation’s leader, U Kyaw Hla, was instead given to conference organisers. It reiterated the UWSA’s longstanding demand for a separate state to be carved out of majority Wa townships in eastern Shan State.

The Wa Democratic Party won one Amyotha seat and two seats in the Shan Hluttaw last year, halving their representation from 2010. Elections were cancelled shortly before the vote in a further three townships under majority control of the UWSA.

The UWSA has not issued public comment on plans to establish the new political party.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters

Our fortnightly magazine is available in print, digital, or a combination beginning at $80 a year

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar