Myanmar Archbishop Urges Citizens to Go Vote
By Nan Lwin 1 September 2020
YANGON — The Archbishop of Yangon, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, has urged people to vote in November’s general election, saying participation is vital for Myanmar’s common good and welfare.
His appeal on Tuesday came one week before the election campaign begins officially ahead of the Nov. 8 poll.
Voting is a “sacred duty” and “part of our long pilgrimage to democracy”, Bo said:
“I urge everyone to ensure that your name is on the voter list and you visit the voting booth on election day.”
His call to vote follows the “No Vote” campaign by the All Burma Federation of Student Unions last month. The group blamed the National League for Democracy’s failure to amend the military-drafted 2008 Constitution, saying there will never be a genuine, democratic government after an election held under the controversial charter.
Bo said voting would empower the voiceless through democracy and boost the peace process.
“Armed responses have painfully killed thousands and created thousands of refugees and IDPs [internally displaced people]. This dark era needs to end. Nobody has won a war in this country. Peace is possible, peace is the only way,” the archbishop said.
For the real participation of the poor in politics, elections are vital. Let not poverty deter us from election participation,” he added.
The cardinal advised people to avoid voting for “looters” and “cronies” who had ravaged Myanmar’s resources and made the people poor. “Thieves cannot represent us,” Bo added.
He urged voters to avoid “unethical cronies” who exploited the country’s wealth by working with irresponsible international investors, whom he called “foreign mafias”.
The Christian leader labeled crony politicians as “unpatriotic”, saying some are competing in the election. He urged voters to “identify them as they are not part of any democracy”.
Bo said voters should choose candidates with a clear plan for human development, stressing that Myanmar needed more leaders with intelligence, animated by a sense of service, honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency.
He urged citizens to vote for a true political and economic federalism, saying General Aung San, father of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, lived and died for a dream of political and economic federalism.
“Vote for those who support Gen. Aung San’s dream. Let there be a new dawn of peace and prosperity,” Bo said.
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