Voting is Our Responsibility

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the word “YCDC”?

To us, we think of an orange-shirt-wearing figure who collects the trash we throw on a dirty garbage truck or grey-colored-uniform-wearing officers who leave utility bills at our doors.

Guess what, now we have a chance to elect their bosses!

Yangon City Development Committee is having an election this Sunday, and as tax-paying citizens, it is our duty to go out there and choose our representatives. To many of us, this is a very first time we cast our votes so let us explain how it works.

Here are a few basic information about the election.

Election Day: March 31st, 2019 (Sunday)

Voter List: Check at your Ward Administration Offices in advance.

Polling Station: Check at your Ward Administration Offices in advance.

Operating Hours: 6 am – 4 pm

Do you know that we have to cast FOUR votes on the day?

Committee Member for YCDC – this person will be working at our grand City Hall downtown, together with Mayor and has a chance to become Vice-Chair of the committee

Township Municipal Committee Chair –  this person will chair the committee he/she runs for. A closer person that we can go complain about problems in our neighbourhood.

Township Municipal Committee Member 1 – this person will work alongside the Committee President.

Township Municipal Committee Member 2 – This person will support the above two.

Since some big names, including one beauty queen and one young urban planner, are running for YCDC Committee Member position, most of us are know about these positions. We have to keep in mind that these people will work in a higher level, and Township Municipal Committee is also equally important for Yangon residents because if anything happens in our neighborhood, township municipal office is the first place we go and talk. So aside from the popular candidates, we should get to know township-level candidates. Thanks to OpenDevelopment Myanmar, we can check out the candidates here.

Now that we know who we are voting, let’s have a look at the administrative body of YCDC and how they are going to work.

YCDC Committee contains 11 members, including

Yangon Mayor as Chairperson appointed by the president.

Four committee members appointed by the government.

Six committee members elected by people.

We are voting on this Sunday to fill six committee members, representing 33 townships divided into 6 constituencies, and one of these six people we elected has a chance to become Vice Chairperson when committee members internally vote for the cabinet.

Township Municipal Committees, existing in all 33 townships in Yangon, consist of five administrative positions per each committee:

Chairperson – will be elected by Yangon residents

Committee Member 1 – will be elected by Yangon residents

Committee Member 2 – will be elected by Yangon residents

Committee Member 3 – Deputy Township Administrator, appointed by the government

Secretary – Township Municipal Administrator, appointed by the government

This Sunday, we are entitled to fill three out of five positions in the administrative body.

If you wonder when we should reach out to these people or what kind of stuffs they are responsible, here are the responsibilities of municipal committees. If you face problems in these areas, reach out to respective municipal committees.

In transitioning into democratic society, citizens’ involvement in elections is extremely important. We did not have many experiences in voting and electing representatives of our choice in the past. Now we are given a chance and we will be irresponsible if we fail to show up and cast our votes.

With this post, we’d like to appreciate young candidates who decide to run for a public office. Many years, young people are being left out from important roles just because they are young and inexperienced. How would young people gain experience if they were not given a chance?

Everyone deserves a decent environment and living situation. As much as we deserve a great city, orange-shirt-wearing people also deserve decent working conditions. So Mohinga Matters encourage all our readers in Yangon to go to polling stations on Sunday and vote for representatives who, you believe, have ability to create a better Yangon for all of us.

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