As part of the continuing democratisation of government at lower levels, 21 elders have been elected to represent the 21 wards of Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Region, as part of a multi-stage process to assemble the town’s municipal governing body.
On July 27, candidates for the ward posts were elected at the township administration offices. On August 10, the elected elders will choose among themselves to select two representatives to seats on the city development committee.
In addition to the two elders, the seven-member committee includes three appointed members and two others who were elected this week.
Some of the races were among two or three competing candidates, while others saw just a single candidate put forward.
As the process has unfolded, some voters reported delays and confusion. “The government relies on us for every little thing, then they leave our names out of the voters’ list,” said Ko Aung Aung, a local businessman.
By law, the city development committee must be chaired by one of the two elders who will be chosen on August 10. Appointed members include the committee’s secretary, the deputy township administrator and the deputy officer of the department of rural development. Voters earlier this week selected a social or economic organisations’ representative and a representative with technical expertise to round out the city development committee.
“Of the seven members required by law, four shall be elected by the people and three appointed by the government. I’m sure we can rely on all seven members to do their best for the public, as is expected of them,” said U Khin Maung Htay (NLD; Pyin Oo Lwin 2), deputy chair of the regional hluttaw.
Candidates were required to be township residents aged 30 or older, of good character, and neither a government employee nor a monk.
Translation by Emoon