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November 20, 2019

Politicians must win hearts and minds, not just votes

With the general elections having been slated for late October or early November in 2015, the people in Myanmar are starting to talk about the big day in public places like cafes and restaurants.
Some hold the view that the 2015 election will be different from the previous one, which took place under military rule five years ago. One main reason is that it will be the first general election to be conducted under a democratically elected government.
Another point is that the government has promised to allow foreign observers, such as the US-based Carter Centre and the European Union, to monitor the upcoming general elections. The military government did not allow foreign observers at the 2010 elections, but it invited observers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to the 2012 by-elections.
During the past five years, the government has engaged in political reforms, winning high praise from the international community and resulting in the relaxations of some economic sanctions against the country. To add fresh momentum to political reform, the government should remain steadfast in its determination to hold a free and fair election, using it as an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to political reform.
All in all, people, especially in this age, are smart enough to welcome politicians who inspire their hearts and minds, particularly those
who aspire to be generous winners and gracious losers.

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