၂၀၁၅ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ Irrawaddy.org
ELECTION 2015

Voters’ Views on Election’s Eve

The Irrawaddy speaks to voters—from a trader to a trishaw driver, a cashier and an astrologer—in Rangoon and Mandalay on the import of Sunday’s poll.


RANGOON & MANDALAY — On the eve of Burma’s highly anticipated general election, The Irrawaddy spoke to ordinary voters—from a trader to a trishaw driver, a cashier and an astrologer—in Rangoon and Mandalay to gauge their thoughts on the import of the poll and what may lie ahead.

Tin Tin Nwet, 45, trader

Rangoon — “One vote is very important; it can result in dramatic change. So I believe my vote is crucial. I think Amay Suu [Aung San Suu Kyi] will win. I expect she can help rebuild the education system. There are many children who want to go to school but their parents can’t afford the study fee.”

Kyaw Zwa Swe, 44, astrologer

Rangoon — “It is necessary to change people [in power], not just change uniforms… I’m very much interested in the election. If the result is not disregarded, the future of our country is very positive. The current fortunes of Aung San Suu Kyi are pretty good. She can overwhelmingly beat her competitors. The current government has bad omens. They will collapse no matter how much they attempt to cheat.”

Min Zaw, 28, trishaw driver

Rangoon — “I believe she [Aung San Suu Kyi] will come into power and she will serve the people. We are struggling with daily survival. I like her because she is the blood of Gen Aung San. President Thein Sein has also done a good job. I can see better roads which is good for me as a trishaw driver. Driving a trishaw is a tiring job if roads are not good. I am not pessimistic about him [Thein Sein]. But I think we need a change.”

Nyein Maung, 64, security guard

Rangoon — “I will vote for the NLD. I want a leader who has the capacity to lead the country and develop the lives of all citizens. I want the new government to pay attention to the health care system because lower class people can’t afford to receive good treatment in clinics and hospitals. They are suffering.”

Yan Naing, head of “special election police” unit in Chanmyathazi Township

Mandalay — “We are ready to take security at the polling stations; to watch for any violence and to stop it. We will also help voters and observers, for their security. At least one special police officer will be at each station. Other police will be patrolling around the area. We have already deployed some security today to make sure of the security of the polling stations and we will be there until the end of the vote count.”

Kay Khaing, cashier, Fuji shopping mall

Mandalay — “Since our shopping centre will not close, I will go line up in front of the polling station from 4 am. Otherwise I will be late for work. I have had to do some shopping today because I am worried about the days following election day. People said something might happen because there are many errors in the voter lists and most people are not satisfied with it, so chaos might occur. I’ll buy some rice, onions and some basic commodities to be prepared in case something happens and all the markets close.”

U Chit, a blind man in his 80s

Mandalay — “I came to cast an advance vote as I can’t see, I can’t walk and I will not be able to line up on the day. I will stay at home on election day because I can’t go around on my own. But I believe my vote could help for real change in the country. So I asked my daughter to take me to the commission office.”

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