Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mayangone sees 60pc turnout

Former Prime Minister U Khin Nyunt speaks to the media after voting in Mayangone township on April 1. Kaung Htet / The Myanmar TimesFormer Prime Minister U Khin Nyunt speaks to the media after voting in Mayangone township on April 1. Kaung Htet / The Myanmar Times

Almost 60 percent of eligible voters turned out for the April 1 by-election in Mayangone, according to election commission figures.

The Yangon Region Election Sub-commission announced on April 2 that 80,970 votes had been received from 137,180 eligible voters, with 77,659 eligible votes.

National League for Democracy candidate Dr May Win Myint won with 60,216 votes, or about 77.5pc of all votes, beating rivals from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), National Democratic Force (NDF), Myanmar National Congress and New National Democracy Party, along with one independent candidate.

While there were some problems with voter lists most said they had been able to express their wishes freely.

‘’We have the chance to vote for who we want. We couldn’t find our voter number at first but now it’s okay. All six people in my family were included in the voter list,” said U Aung Myint, a resident of No 5 ward.

“The situation is calm and free in the voting station where I voted,” said singer Saung Oo Hlaing, who also voted in Mayangone township.

But U Kyaw Thu, head of the Free Funeral Service Society, said that while he could vote, five of his family members were left off the voting list.

“They said only people who voted in 2010 were included in the voter list but I didn’t vote in 2010,” he said. “I voted for the one who will really work for us. Although people were persuaded to vote [for a party], people will do as they believe when they come to the voting station. The important thing is to be honest and have a result that reflects the people’s real wishes.”

But candidates from Mayangone said they believed the commission had been fair and were satisfied with the result.

“The by-election is a fair contest. I knew it would be fair before the election because this is the game the USDP is playing. The USDP played for a win in 2010. In today’s by-election, they considered it a friendly match. NLD just won the friendly match and needs to work hard to win the final in 2015,” said U Khin Hlaing, an independent candidate. “The USDP will have a better international image by accepting people who should be included in the hluttaw.”

U Khin Hlaing received 1243 votes in the by-election, finishing third among the six candidates.

“I am satisfied with the result. I had only 15 days to prepare but I finished in third place. I played this game in a clean way and am glad about that. I will compete in Mayangone township again in 2015,” he said.

The Yangon Region Election Sub-commission said that U Ye Htut of the USDP came second in Mayangone with 14,475 votes, followed by U Khin Hlaing, Daw Khin Phyu Phyu Nyein from the NDF with 1162 votes, the New National Democracy Party’s U Ye Min Thein with 414 votes and Daw Haymar Htay from the Myanmar National Congress with 149 votes.