Did you know that we had a new president early this year?
Right. Before being appointed as the president, he was the speaker of lower house, and prior to that, he was elected as a member of parliament from Tamwe Township, Yangon Region. Now that he’s taking greater responsibility, we have to elect another representative for his place in Tamwe. This is why By-election is happening in November 3, which is less than a month from now!
There are only 12 townships with vacant representatives nationwide so this may not seem like a big deal but let me explain why it is important for us to go out and cast our vote even if it is just a by-election.
Voting gives us a chance to elect someone who can work for us at constitutional level, who can change some laws that are not realistic for us, or who can push the government to make improvements in governing and serving us in more effective ways. So basically, elections are our chance to give power to someone we like in order to make our lives better, be it by-election or general election. Most importantly, we should take this chance because if we don’t, someone else will.
On another note, our country is moving towards democratic societies, strengthening institutions and communities. Before 2015 election, we did not have a habit of casting votes, electing representative of our choice to the parliaments. Thus, in a country like ours, whether it is just a small scaled by-election or nationwide general election, citizens should exercise the habit of voting. Because voting is civil rights and no one in the position of power will respect our rights if we do not respect it in the first place.
At this point, election campaigns have started so we can gather information about candidates, polling stations and other general facts. Or simply, we can pay a visit to our Township administration office for enquiry.
Whoever lives in big cities like Yangon, Mandalay, spread the words to your friends and family. I know we have a lot of readers working in development sectors. If you guys happen to travel to any area where polling stations open, please tell local friends to grab their opportunity to vote and elect someone they want. Even if the candidate we voted for didn’t get elected, the thought of knowing that we took our chances would make us feel better.
My homies in Tamwe, go out there and cast your vote, make your voices heard!