Saturday, August 19, 2017

Independent backs the president, confuses voters

At a public campaign rally yesterday that was self-described by the candidate as a corroboration of the president’s politics, former Nay Pyi Taw Council member U Myo Nyunt dished out a load of contradictions.

The independent candidate, who is contesting an Amyotha Hluttaw seat for Nay Pyi Taw’s Constituency 10, asked attendees rhetorical questions, compared the elections to a raging fire, and managed to both insult and praise the party that had appointed him to his former council seat.

He told Shwe Gyi Inn villagers in Dekkhinathiri township that he is only interested in supporting the community, not in politicking for any party, while also citing his success as evidence of the effectiveness of the ruling party.

“You have to share your food with your own community and love them more than others. For electing a candidate, you have to choose someone who can really work for your community,” he said, while standing in front of a giant poster of the president emblazoned with the words “I’ll be with you Mr President”.

“Let’s say a fire breaks out … Will you run to the party flags and logos or to the fire? That is like the election. I hope you all understand,” he said, without further explanation, before adding, “I love everyone who loves me.”

It isn’t the first time U Myo Nyunt has gone to great lengths to prove he is no ordinary independent.

He claims to have spent phenomenal sums on developing his constituency – K82.5 billion (US$64.3 million) – all poured in during the five-year term he served on the Nay Pyi Taw Council, appointed by the president. He concedes the money came not from his own pockets, but out of taxpayers’ wallets. By his own account – and the narrative presented on the pamphlets he’s handing out to voters – he boasts of appropriating the council budget to education, transportation, health and agriculture.

He advised Shwe Gyi Inn villagers to appoint a representative with experience whipping support in parliament for their needs, although he has never served in parliament. He suggested his council term was roughly equivalent.

He then launched into a largely incoherent speech praising the president and the current government administration, while still maintaining his disassociation from any political party.

“I came here to explain about the president’s implementation of political process. National politics is supposed to work for the benefit of the country and the voter’s own community. If I, U Myo Nyunt, pursue national politics in the interest of all your villagers and the whole Dekkhinathiri township, you’re all pleased, aren’t you?” he asked the villagers.

Translation by Zar Zar Soe