Rebel party has no plans to enter 2015 elections

The Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) that has just concluded its week long bi-annual meeting on Monday, 8 July, said it would not be participating in the upcoming 2015 elections.

“It is up to the SNLD (Shan Nationalities League for Democracy led by Hkun Htun Oo that won the most seats in Shan State in the 1990 elections) to decide,” said one of the SSPP senior members.

The SSPP, in 1995, had formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) with the SNLD, with Hkun Htun Oo as its chairman.

Sai Nyunt Lwin aka Sai Nood, the SNLD deputy leader, said the party still has yet to decide on the question. “Our biggest concern is the amendment of the 2008 constitution,” he said. “Only through unity with all the stakeholders, we will be able to accomplish the task. The question whether or not we are going to the polls will be considered only afterwards.”

Lt-Gen Yawd Serk and President Thein Sein (Photo:

The Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) leader Lt-Gen Yawdserk also told a recent meeting held on the border that his mind was still on things other than setting up a political party and registering it for the coming elections.

“One thing at a time,” he said. “Now is the time to think about political negotiations, not about whether we should form a party or not.”

All of them, especially the two SSAs, were responding to President Thein Sein’s suggestion to the RCSS/SSA on 10 June, when he received the visiting Yawdserk in Naypyitaw:

  • The elderly members should set up parties, enter elections and become government ministers, if elected
  • The middle age members should engage in business and support the movement from the proceeds
  • The young, if they choose, should continue to serve in the armed units

The president’s suggestion came from one of his 8-point guidelines for union level negotiations. “The whole idea is not new,” said an SSA officer. “It was contained in the Border Guard Force (BGF) proposal presented to ceasefire groups in 2009.”

Both the RCSS/SSA and SSPP/SSA concluded ceasefire with Napyitaw on 2 December 2011 and 28 January 2012 respectively. Since the ceasefire, each had already fought more than 100 clashes against the government forces.


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