By HEIN KO SOE | FRONTIER
YANGON — Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U Win Myint kicked off the National League for Democracy’s by-election campaign in Yangon Thursday, telling an audience of party faithful not to choose candidate who would “hinder” Myanmar’s political transition.
Around 250 NLD members, some bussed in from other parts of the city, were present for Win Myint’s stump speech at a neighbourhood football field in Dagon Seikkan Township, on the city’s eastern fringes.
A member of the NLD’s central executive committee and a close confidante of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint said an endorsement of the party in the April 1 poll was vital for the country’s future.
“Only if democratic forces are strong, will the people achieve internal peace, the rule of law and equality,” he said from the dais, in front of a portrait of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. “Otherwise it will falter and be delayed.”
“Voters should make sure not to vote those who would hinder democracy.”
Preceding Win Myint onstage Thursday was party cofounder and patron U Tin Oo, who also took up the theme of Myanmar’s fragile transition in urging an NLD vote.
“Myanmar is located between two big countries and endowed with natural resources. In these circumstances, there are those ill-willed people who are trying to create problems where there are no problems,” he said, without elaborating further.
A by-election is being held for the Pyithu Hluttaw seat of Dagon Seikkan to replace U Kyaw Win, who resigned the seat last year to take up the post of Union Minister for Planning and Finance.
Four other polls will be held in Yangon for the seats of East Dagon, Hlaing Tharyar, Kawhmu and the Amyotha Hluttaw seat of Yangon-6. A further 14 seats in other parts of the country are also being contested.
Members of the Union ministry, including Aung San Suu Kyi, are barred from campaigning under constitutional restrictions on party activity.
Win Myint will be campaigning across various townships in Yangon until Saturday.