Pado Mahn Nyein Maung, central executive member of Karen National Union (KNU), said to Mizzima that he would run in the forthcoming 2020 Myanmar general elections.
Pado Mahn Nyein Maung said he will contest the House of Representatives (lower house) seat from Pantanaw constituency in Ayeyarwady Region.
Pado Mahn Nyein Maung noted that “my mother organization has already allowed me to resign from my post.”
He will contest the general election as an independent candidate.
To contest in the general elections, he tendered a resignation letter to his mother organization KNU on July 21 and it was accepted.
So Pado Mahn Nyein Maung will change from an armed revolutionary to stand for a parliamentary position.
Political observer Than Soe Naing said, “I welcome this as a citizen. It’s good to see turning to parliamentary politics from armed politics. It’s good to see such a person entering parliament as he has rich experiences and he can work and say much in it.”
Pado Mahn Nyein Maung was arrested on July 20, 1967 while he was serving as underground party worker of KNU and then he was sent to Coco Island prison on February 12, 1969 along with other 233 political prisoners.
He built a raft while he was being imprisoned in Coco Island which took 8 months and he escaped from this prison by this small raft by sailing in rough sea but unfortunately he was rearrested when he reached the coast near mouth of Yay Creek in upper Dawei.
He escaped again from his captivity and fled to his mother organization KNU. He was arrested again at Kunming airport, China in 2011 while he was attempting to enter Myanmar by air and he was prosecuted for the forgery of travel documents under the Immigration Act and another case under the Unlawful Associations Act for alleged having contact with KNU and he was imprisoned again.
In the meantime, the KNU and the government had been in a peace dialogue and the KNU demanded his release. Then President Thein Sein pardoned him in 2012.
The KNU and the government signed a ceasefire agreement on January 12, 2012 and then again signed a Union-level ceasefire agreement on April 7, 2012 and the nationwide ceasefire agreement on October 15, 2015.
Pado Mahn Nyein Maung participated throughout all these peace dialogues with government as a member of central executive committee member of KNU. And also he actively participated in peace dialogues between government and other ethnic armed groups as the member of ‘Nationwide Ceasefire Consultative Team’ (NCCT) and ‘United Nationalities Federal Council’ (UNFC).