August 19, 2016

Country cannot afford to waste another 5 years

With the general election just less than 90 days away, nearly 100 political parties have been expected to vie for votes with all their might. The election campaign, however, has been overshadowed by the loss of life and destruction of property, transport facilities and farmlands brought about by record floods triggered by weeks of torrential rain. As a nascent democracy, Myanmar still has much to learn about democratic norms. It is not an easy task to choose candidates from more than 90 parties contesting the coming election. It is highly unlikely that all communities will put the national interest before their regional interests. No doubt voters in rural areas and border areas, especially in states, are more likely to vote for political parties representing their ethnicities. Each party will try to appeal to all communities, with their candidates promising to bring benefits to their constituencies. It is no wonder that regional development is their primary concern. Either way, it seems to be a battle of head and heart. We, the electorate, must use our heads in selecting candidates by weighing up their merits and track records rather than their popularity. This time, the onus is on all of us to choose responsible and accountable candidates who are capable of undoing the errors our country has encountered on all fronts. Otherwise, the waste of another five years is too high a cost for the country to pay.


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