Sixty nominations for new leaders to represent the Karen National Union (KNU) were reportedly cast by secret ballot yesterday at KNU headquarters in Law Khee Lar, Kayin State.
The 60 nominees were selected from 217 delegates attending the 16th Congress.
Today, a 55-member Central Committee (CC) is due to be announced, which will include names for the top five positions in the organisation, namely: chairman, vice-chairman, general secretary, and joint general secretaries (1) and (2).
Speaking to Mizzima on Thursday, an official at KNU headquarters who requested anonymity said, “We have elected the 60 CC nominees by secret ballot. Tomorrow we will elect 55 Central Committee members and five persons for the top posts.”
Current KNU Joint General Secretary (1) Pado Saw Thaw Bwe Thi told Mizzima on Wednesday that the next step would be for the five senior CC representatives to appoint a further six nominees to form a Central Executive Committee of 11 members. The CEC would then be responsible for appointing the heads of the 14 departments within the organisation.
Also on Thursday, delegates elected – again by secret ballot – the KNU’s next election commission. It will comprise seven members and be headed by Mann Aung Pyi Soe, the chairman of the Phalon Sawaw Democratic Party, who will now also act as chairman of the commission. Karen News Agency editor Nan Phaw Wai was announced as election commission secretary.
Saw Thaw Bwe Thi added: “Whoever is elected by the Congress must execute their work based on the policies adopted and passed by the Congress. All peace-loving leaders are included in these nominations to represent us in the peace process.”
The KNU was established in 1947 and fought for equality and self-determination for over 60 years. It finally signed a ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the then Thein Sein government in October 2015.