RANGOON — Aung San Suu Kyi has begun campaigning in her home constituency of Kawhmu, on Rangoon Division’s southwestern outskirts, targeting the only village in the township to largely support the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) during her emphatic 2012 byelection victory.
Traveling to Ma Zwe Seik village on Monday, 16 miles west of Kawhmu town, the National League for Democracy (NLD) chairwoman’s convoy was greeted by a rapturous crowd of several thousand, waving the party’s flying peacock flags and blaring the party’s campaign songs. Many had waited hours for her arrival, with local shopkeepers closing their doors for the afternoon and mobbing the procession in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the opposition leader.
Onstage, Suu Kyi struck a similar note to earlier campaign appearances in Karenni State, urging people to support the party regardless of the merits of individual candidates and telling voters not to allow gifts from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) influence their decision in the Nov. 8 elections.
“Giving rice as an incentive is a violation of election laws,” she said. “Don’t forget to give your vote to our party, but take whatever they give to you. They give these incentives all over the country.”
Promising the crowd that an NLD landslide would lead to more job opportunities in Kawhmu, Suu Kyi said that more development would come to the area if the ballot led to a change of government.
During a demonstration of how to cast ballots in the November poll, Suu Kyi urged the crowd to check voter lists, which are on display for the last time before the election this week.
“This election is important for the country and for the young people of this country,” she said. “This election will change the government. You all have to think about how your one vote could change the country and the future of the youth.”