Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The chairman of the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party (PSDP) has resigned to form a new party called the Kayin Democratic Party (KDP).
Former chairman Saw Than Kyaw Oo submitted an application to form a new party to the Union Election Commission (UEC) on Monday. He resigned from the party in early November following a dispute among party leaders that he violated party rules.
"Our central committee made various allegations. They alleged that I used the party's name as a stepping-stone for my own business, and that I was drunk. So I resigned from the party," Saw Than Kyaw Oo told Mizzima. He denied the allegations.
There was very strict central control in the party, he said, and its democratic practices were limited “so I didn’t want to lead the party anymore. That's why I resigned, and I will now cooperate with Karen residents to form a party that practices democratic principles.”
State-run newspapers reported on Tuesday that 16 people including Saw Than Kyaw Oo submitted an application to the UEC to form the new party, which will be based in Hpaan, Karen State.
A PSDP central committee member told Mizzima that the party has a rule that members cannot use the party's name to do individual business, but Saw Than Kyaw Oo conducted a mining business in Hlaingbwe Township in Karen State that used the party's name, which led it to urge that he resign.
Sabi Kyi, the secretary of the PSDP, said that four people including Saw Than Kyaw Oo and central committee member Naw Lar Khu submitted their resignations. The party has more than 6,000 members.
Sabi Kyin told Mizzima, "Whether their party will be our competitor or not depends on their actions. As for us, we are not worried."
Saw Than Kyaw Oo said that when the UEC grants a permit to form his new party, it will organize with at least 1,000 members and will contest in at least three constituencies in Irrawaddy Region and Karen State.
Eighteen PSDP candidates contested in the 2010 general election, winning two parliamentary seats in the Lower House, three seats in Upper House and four in the Karen State Assembly.
Earlier, Saw Khin Maung Myint, the current Karen State transport minister, was the chairman of the PSDP. He was replaced by Saw Than Kyaw Oo.
Saw Than Kyaw Oo contested in Kyaikmayaw Township constituency No. 1 for the Karen State Assembly. A Union Solidarity and Development Party candidate defeated him.