Ethnic parties, armed groups warm up to NLD victory

U Myo Nyunt, a member of the executive committee of the NLD, said nine ethnic armed groups and political organisations have congratulated the NLD for its win and expressed willingness to cooperate in government programmes.

“Altogether nine local political organisations sent congratulation letters to NLD for winning 2020 election as well as welcoming the national unity government offer, including the Northern Alliance.”

Among the nine political organisations that expressed willingness to work with NLD for nation-building are the country’s biggest armed ethnic group, the United Wa State Army and the Alliance of the Arakan Army, Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Kachin Independence Army, which is the second biggest armed group in the country.

All the five ethnic armed groups have yet to sign the government-initiated Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) that would allow them to join the ongoing peace process.

But the military (Tatmadaw) is already negotiating for a ceasefire with the Arakan Army (AA), which have been fighting government forces in restive Rakhine State since November 2018.

Five of the 48 political parties the NLD invited to join a national unity government have already have also expressed their willingness to work with the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi-led party.

The Pa-O National organisation told The Myanmar Times they have sent a letter of welcome and acceptence to cooperate to NLD’s offer since November 17 but U Myo Nyunt said they have not received it yet.

Ethnic armed groups and political organisations were wary when the NLD first came to power in 2016, amid concerns it would be puppet of western powers, which are covetous of the country’s huge untapped natural resources.

They criticised the NLD for internationalising the Rakhine humanitarian crisis, amid pressure from western governments. But their fears were allayed when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi refused attempts by foreign interest groups, which using human rights as the main issue, to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.

Despite unrelenting attacks by human rights groups and activists questioning the capability of the Myanmar government to hold a free and fair elections, millions of people across the country went out to vote in November 8, braving the COVID-19 pandemic, to show their collective political will.

The NLD won 920 out of 1117 seats contested in the union, regional and state parliaments, eclipsing its landslide victory in the 2020 polls.

With so much political capital on hand, local political analysts said the NLD has only itself to blame if it fails to make substantive progress in bringing peace and development in the country during the next five years. – Translated

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