Kachin party to boycott new election law

San Lat / March 8, 2020

A political party based in Myitkyina, Kachin State called Kachin National Congress (KNC) has announced that it will organize to hold a demonstration next week to boycott the proceeding amendment of Burma’s electoral law by the country’s Union Election Commission (UEC).

KNC urged party supporters and Myitkyina residents to join the tomorrow’s demonstration to express disagreement over the UEC’s proposal to amend the section number 10th of election law, which allow Burmese migrant workers will be entitled to vote in 2020 election if they meet the minimum 90 days residency requirement in arriving non-Burmese States. The original law requires minimum 180 days of residency status for Burmese migrants workers to vote.

“We’re going to demonstrate to abolish UEC’s new amendment,” said KNC leader Dr. M. Hkawn La to The Kachin Post. He said the new law is not fair and the impact of this amendment is huge for the whole country. Most of the ethnic-party may not win in 2020 election due to this new law, he added.

On February 20, the new law was passed by the Lower House and passed it to approve from the Upper House of the country’s parliament. A few days later, fourteen ethnic-based political parties including United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) released a joint statement to express their objection over the new law, saying the UEC shouldn’t amend the existing law and the new amendment law shouldn’t benefit for any particular person or party.

Burma is comprised of seven ethnic-based States and seven Provinces where most Burmese majority resides. Many Burmese migrant workers are employed in less-populated ethnic States in the mining, construction and agriculture sectors as the lack of employment opportunities in their original Provinces.

KNC was originally founded in 50s and, won up to several seats in 1950-51, 1956 and 1960 Burma’s elections. The party also contested in 1990 election and won no seats in the parliament, as well as 2010 and 2015 elections. KNC is gearing up to join the 2020 election as well.