SNLD asks for cabinet positions in national government during unity talks with NLD

The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) has asked for its representatives to be given cabinet positions in the union and Shan state governments as part of negotiations aimed at forming a “national unity government” later this year. 

Dr Aung Moe Nyo, Magwe’s chief minister and the leader of the delegation representing the National League for Democracy (NLD), said the SNLD had made the request “because things can be done only from a position of power.” 

“The SNLD requested its representatives and experts to be stationed in the union and state level government and be given positions in the state Hluttaw,” he added. 

Following its massive landslide election victory in November, the NLD called on 48 different ethnic parties to work alongside the ruling party in its next term and promised “not to take all the control.”

It has since met with ethnic parties in Kachin and Shan states, and made efforts to meet with parties in Kayah and Mon that were aborted because of disagreements over the venues of the meetings. 

Three NLD representatives met with senior SNLD representatives at the NLD’s office in Taunggyi on Friday. The talk lasted for about an hour.

“Whether it be legislation or administration, in order to cooperate there needs to be a delegation of responsibilities,” Sai Kyaw Nyunt, the SNLD’s first joint secretary, told Myanmar Now

Regarding its role in forming the government and parliament, he said the party will “discuss this more in-depth in the next stage.” The meeting was productive and paved the way for future talks, he added.

The SNLD won 15 seats in the Union Parliament and 27 in the Shan State Hluttaw in November, making it the third largest party in the country and the largest representing an ethnic minority group. 

The NLD won 33 seats in the Shan State Hluttaw, while the SNLD won 26 and the USDP won 25.

After the 2015 election, the NLD offered to appoint an SNLD representative as Shan state’s chief minister, but the SNLD declined. 

During Friday’s meeting, the SNLD put forward its stance on national unity, cooperation in the peace process and the building of a federal union, Sai Kyaw Nyunt said.

The party also offered to mediate between the NLD and the two parties – the Mon Unity Party and Kayah State Democratic Party – with whom the planned meetings fell through.

“We urged them to find a way and set up meetings again with the Mon and Kayah parties. If need be, the SNLD offered to intervene,” Sai Kyaw Nyunt said. 

The SNLD agreed to the meeting at the NLD office after senior officials from both parties held an informal meeting on January 7. 

After arriving at Shan state on January 13, the NLD’s delegation met with seven ethnic parties in three days.

On January 15, the representatives met the SNLD, the Wa National Party and the Lahu National Development Party.

The discussions from the meetings were presented to the NLD’s central executive committee on Saturday, said In Hton Khar Naw San, one of the delegates.

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