The Pa-O National Organization (PNO) ended its alliance with the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to run on its own during the 2020 general elections. In previous elections, the PNO aligned itself with the USDP.
Khun Thein Pe, general secretary for PNO, said the party is listening to its people and the people want to vote for a Pa-O party. He said they will still cooperate with the USDP on state and regional development.
“Whoever contests the election in our region and township we welcome any electoral candidate who demonstrates their full capacity by working hard for our country,” said a resident from Hsihseng Township.
There are many Pa-O who live in the township located in southern Shan State.
Since the 2015 general election, many parliamentarians in Shan State haven’t lobbied for the people in Parliament, the local said, which has been quite disappointing for those who voted for them.
PNO will contest 35 constituencies in Shan, Karen and Kayah states. It will contest 5 seats for House of Nationalities, 10 seats for House of Representatives, 18 seats for Shan State Parliament, Minister of Pa-O Ethnic Affairs post in Mon and Karen states. In Shan State, the party will field candidates in Hopon, Hsihseng, and Pinglaung townships in Taunggyi district, and in Loilam and Langkho districts. In Kayah State, it will contest Loikaw district.
“We expect to win in areas where Pa-O are the majority. For instance, we are confident of winning in Taunggyi and Loilam districts because there are many Pa-O residing there,” Khun Thein Pe told SHAN.
The PNO general secretary doesn’t anticipate challenges during the party’s election campaign despite new government restrictions barring large public gatherings. “We won’t face difficulties because we already have a large voting bloc. Our people will vote for us.”
The Pa-O Self-Administered Zone in southern Shan state is one of six self-administered zones in Burma recognised by the government.