Narinjara News, September 21:
A candidate running as an independent for a seat representing Arakan state in the national parliament’s lower house says that more voter awareness is needed. U Thein Zaw, who is running for a seat representing Kyaukpyu made the comments in an interview with Narinjara News this week as he began his campaign.
U Thein Zaw says he is focusing much of his time on informing the public how to vote rather than actual campaigning in his township.
“When campaigning, we first have to teach those from these areas how to cast their votes. I have attended a two-day voter education course here so first I have to begin with voter education when I arrive at a village,” he told Narinjara News.
Most of the local residents still do not know how many parties are competing in their townships and who are the candidates, he added.
“For their information, I explain how many MPs there are in the Arakan State Hluttaw (parliament), Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house), and the Amyotha Hluttaw (upper house) and that the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw refers to both the Amyotha Hluttaw and the Pyithu Hluttaw. I also explain how the President is elected,” he added.
U Thein Zaw has started campaigning in a number areas already including Kinmyauk village tract, Kalannae village tract, Zinchaung village tract, Yaymyat village tract, Sanae Min Taung village tract, Sanae village tract, Minyar village tract, Kyaukyar village tract, and Leikkhamaw village tract.
“As part of my campaign, I explain to the public what I will do to fulfill the basic requirements of the area including economic, health, and social [sectors],” he said.
“The support from the public is tremendous. People were waiting to welcome us at the village entrance when they heard we were coming. They even provided meals. We worry about imposing ourselves on them,” he said.
U Thein Zaw is a Zinchaung native from Kyaukpyu Township and a former member of the Arakan National Party’s Kyaukpyu Township Committee. He resigned from the ANP and opted to run as an independent candidate after losing the party nomination following a disputed candidate selection process.