Candidates and volunteers for the two big parties are clocking up the miles as they criss-cross the densely populated streets of Yangon canvassing voters. The tactics are much the same, but one party seems to be going that extra yard to win hearts and minds.
Students jailed for demonstrating against the National Education Law have urged voters to reject the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party in the November 8 election. Members of the Yadanapon Student Union, who called for the end of the “military government”, said that otherwise parents would have to see their children arrested and imprisoned like them.
Students and activists protesting the National Education Law in March were subject to excessive police force and brutality, while the government has failed to hold the officers accountable, according to a newly released investigation.
A declaration by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that she intends to lead the next government if she wins at the polls next month – despite being barred from the presidency – has triggered fierce debate over the implications of her intentions, which were also seen as throwing down a gauntlet to the military.
Taking a page from the strategic playbook of the major political parties, five candidates from the National Democratic Force yesterday began using decorated vehicles to campaign in the Nay Pyi Taw Council area.
The United States has warned its citizens travelling to Myanmar of potential security problems during the landmark November elections pitting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition against the country’s military elites.
Here in the Ayeyarwady heartland, the contentious campaign period has trumped even blood ties. A vitriolic rift is splicing neighbours, relatives and friends, with party flags, pamphlets and stickers marking the community’s divides. The contention has become so severe that brawls have erupted, sending party supporters to hospital.
Tensions are building in ruby-rich Mong Hsu township after the Tatmadaw warned that it would attack the headquarters of the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) unless the armed ethnic group withdrew from a key base camp.