The Burma Times
Kyauktaw Correspondent: More than 1, 000 members of the Arakan National Party (ANP) have demonstrated and shown menace to relinquish the party following the sack of three senior members in Kyauktaw Township, Arakan State, Burma.
Kyauktaw Township Chairman Saw Maung, Vice-Chair Saw Shwe Tun and Secretary Zaw Win were dismissed from the ANP about two months ago, over the accusations of their forming a committee on their own way without the approval of the central leadership.
Nine hundred and fifty three (953) members of ANP have signed a letter and sent to the party leadership on 6 June threatening to leave the party if the three ex-Executive Members are not reinstated, Ngwe Thein, an ANP official in Kyauktaw, told Burma Times Thursday.
Earlier, six township party executives relinquished protesting the dismissal of Htun Hla, Tun Tun Aung, Tin Htun Aung, Zaw Win Maung, Maung Maw Sein, and Hla Saw Maung.
Ngwe Thein said. “The party leadership dismissed three Central Executive Committee members from Kyauktaw, but we are calling on them to consider that decision again,”
“Six other executives then resigned their posts in protest, and now we have none left to carry out the leadership role in Kyauktaw. If the three sacked leaders are not reinstated, then all 953 party members in Kyauktaw will resign at a time.”
But the ANP Secretary, Tun Aung Kyaw said, the three Kyauktaw leaders expelled in accordance with the party regulation, and that they would not be re-admitted.
“The three were dismissed from their posts as a disciplinary measure in accordance with the party’s regulations,” he said. “We are an institutionalised major party and our disciplinary committee decided to remove the three for violating party protocol. As a political party, we find it unacceptable that they are trying to blackmail us like this.
“There is no way we will consider their demands,” he added.
The ANP was formed in June 2013 as a merger of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP), led by Dr. Aye Maung, and the Arakan League for Democracy (ALD), which was headed by Aye Thar Aung.
In the 2015 general election, the party won 10 seats in the Lower House, 12 in the Upper House, and 22 of the 47 seats in the regional assembly of Arakan, also known as Rakhine.
But persistent reports indicate that old loyalties continue to divide the party. “The RNDP faction was always dominant in the new party, wrote journalist Min Min in Frontier Myanmar in April. “Before the [September 2014 congress] began, there were murmurs that ANP chairman and former RNDP chair Dr Aye Maung was plotting a manoeuvre to ensure that the RNDP faction dominated the party. Former ALD members were incensed.”