The New Political Parties Registration Law enacted by the military council. The fierce fighting in the village of Karen State where the Mon ethnic people live

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – January 26 Scenes
MoeMaKa, January 27 2023

The New Political Parties Registration Law enacted by the military council. The fierce fighting in the village of Karen State where the Mon ethnic people live

The military council announced on January 26 that it had amended and enacted the 2010 Political Parties Registration Law for the upcoming election, which they said would be held in August.

The promulgation of the Political Parties Registration Law should be viewed as a preparation rather than a reconfirmation that the election will be held next August. The ground population census and the amendment of the Political Parties Registration Law are only necessary preparations for the elections to be held and as previously stated, whether or not the election will be held in August 2023 will probably be a political decision. Depending on an advantage for the military, a position to gain profit, the escalation of armed conflict and local and international reactions to the election, the political game can still be played.

Leaving aside political strategy and tactics for a moment, the Political Parties Registration Law enacted by the Election Commission appointed by the military council allows only large parties to be registered, and there are elements that make it impossible for weak regional political parties that intend to compete on a level of whole country to stand.

According to the newly enacted law, all existing political parties are required to re-register within 60 days, and to register, they must have 100,000 party members and deposit 100 million kyats in the Myanmar Economic Bank. 100,000 party members must be organized within 90 days and the list submitted to the commission.

It is written that a political party that will only organize and operate within a specific state or region must organize and submit a list of 10,000 party members within 90 days. Furthermore, in order to mobilize across the country, a political party must be able to enter and compete in at least half of the number of candidates, such as representatives from the three houses of parliament and ethnic groups. If the party fails to compete, the party will be canceled and the right to continue will be forfeited. As previously stated, a political party operating within a state or region must compete in at least one of the relevant states or regions. Political parties must also compete in by-elections, and if no one can compete as a party organized in one state and region registered in the respective areas where the by-elections are held, it will be canceled as a party.

If you look at this Political Parties Registration Law, it is intended to prevent more than 2 or 3 big parties from standing. For ethnic parties that will organize only in their own state and region, it is not easy to go and organize in the related states and divisions where their ethnic groups live. For example, if the Karen ethnic parties are registered only in Karen State, there is no right to do political activities and compete in some areas, such as the Irrawaddy Division, Tanintharyi Division, and Mon State, where many Karen people live.

In short, while it is true that the political forces have taken the position that the election to be held by the military council is not credible, it should be noted that this is an act to make it difficult for other political parties to go with the political method and election method, and only the parties that they want can remain.

The fighting in the villages of Kyondoe Township, Karen State, which started on January 23, has become more widespread, and the news has also reported that the battle has already occurred in Kyondoe. It is happening in villages such as Kanni, Kawt Bein, Migalon, and there are reports that civilians from related villages are also fleeing. According to reports, Karen armed groups were said to burn down the houses of village administrators and the people they believed to be leaders of Pyu Saw Htee. In retaliation, the Karen Border Guard Force (BGF), which works with the military council, reportedly burned down houses in the villages.


When the war broke out in the villages where the majority of the Mon people live, worries arose about whether the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Mon ethnic armed groups were brought into the war or whether there could be misunderstandings between the Mon and Karen armed forces or between the Mon and Karen ethnic people, and so on.