NLD Seeks Election Talks with KIO
By LAWI WENG / THE IRRAWADDY Monday, March 26, 2012


Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), asked permission on Monday from the Burmese government and the country's Union Election Commission (EC) to engage in talks with the rebel Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) over security conditions in the northern state.

The move follows the postponement of polling at the upcoming by-election in three constituencies in Kachin State due to security concerns.

“We want to negotiate with the KIO and would like the government or the EC to help with this,” said the NLD statement. “We believe that it is possible to run elections in the three constituencies.”

Burma’s state-run television broadcast an announcement on Friday by the EC saying that voting for the three vacant seats in Kachin State—Phakant, Moe Kaung and Ba Maw—was being postponed because “security conditions are not conducive to conducting a free and fair by-election.”

It said voting would be held when security conditions had improved.

Asked for a comment in response to the NLD statement, KIO spokesman La Nan told The Irrawaddy: “We will open our door to meet any group for talks about the rights of people and the political situation in Burma. We condemn what the government said, and deny that the election must be postponed because of the KIO.

“During the 2010 and 1990 elections, the KIO did not interrupt the process,” he said.

“There is no fighting in the constituencies in question,” he added. “Only in rural areas.”

Tu Ja, an independent candidate listed to run in Moe Kaung Township, echoed the KIO's position that it was safe to hold elections in the three townships.

“I felt sad when I heard they postponed the election,” he said. “I spent a lot of my time campaigning and I have won over many supporters. I wanted the government to hold the election in our township.”

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Yes Wrote:
I agree in full with Dan. NLD considers itself as 'neutral' but nobody is in Burma, not even the stray dogs...

yarzar Wrote:
Snoopy: when KIO was formed in 60's its intent was to separate in accordance with PangLong agreement and 1947 Constitution.

Snoopy Wrote:
Why not change the name KIO to KNO (Kachin National Organization) or to KDO (Kachin Development Organization) to present a better image. The word "Independence" suggests "separation". Can anybody explain what KIO means by "Independence"?

Dan BW Wrote:
What KIO spokesman La Nan said is absolutely right. NLD is barking at the wrong place. Does NLD only care about the election but not genuine peace in the country or I would rather say in ethnic areas? Why don't you speak for 75,000 Kachin war refugees? Why don't you dare to promiss to fulfill the promiss that General Aung San made to the ethnic people? Why don't you ask the Burmese government to pull back all it's troop from KIO area or Kachinland? Why don't you praise KIO for protecting its citizens while the Burmese government is killing them? Well... The answer seems to be those are not our business, we only care about NLD winning the election! I bet you will not win in those three areas unless you care about the people who live there and their relatives and friends who are the victims of the Burmese government's oppressive war.

Myint Myat Twe Wrote:
Media are using the words rebel to the ethnic resistance groups is too discriminate, unbalance power.

If media are still using the "rebel" to the ethnics armed group will really hard to reach national reunion. Thinks about the sensitive words could misleading.

o Wrote:
The authority never tell truth, the situation is better then prevous general election. Why authority wants to postpone the election in Kachin Sate, just because USDP party candidate dare not campaign Kachin area is the fact. Bama chauvinism is still existing, it is too sad, be broad minded.

malihkrang Wrote:
The KIO/KIA will not disturb in non-liberated areas [under Thein Sein government controlled areas] in Kachin State. But due to Tatmadaw's military operations in the KIO controlled areas you will not have secure election and we will not allow to operate polling stations since we do not recognize the 2008 constitution.

U Maung Aung Wrote:
There could be only one explanation for the postponement in those 3 townships, Government backed candidates will be defeated.

hka li Wrote:
Take off our Kachin traditional dress...right now..

Nyi Nyi Wrote:
Are there any vacancies in UWSA controlled areas? If not, does it mean they belong to China?

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