Friday, August 18, 2017

NUP candidate promises a university in Nay Pyi Taw

A National Unity Party candidate in Nay Pyi Taw has promised to push for a university in the capital if elected to office.

Pyithu Hluttaw candidate for Pyinmana township U Thar Aung canvasses for votes at a house in Tat Poe village on September 21. Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo / The Myanmar TimesPyithu Hluttaw candidate for Pyinmana township U Thar Aung canvasses for votes at a house in Tat Poe village on September 21. Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo / The Myanmar Times

U Thar Aung, who will contest the Pyithu Hluttaw seat of Pyinmana, said it was a personal pledge rather than party policy.

“If we have a university here, it will be more convenient for students around Pyinmana as well as from Taungoo and Meiktila. Parents will then have to pay less for school expenses,” he said.

“The university is not in the party objectives but we do have a policy about improving education for young people in the future,” he said.

U Thar Aung has spent much of the past 10 days campaigning door-to-door in Pyinmana township villages, including Nyaung Pin Thar, Tha Nat Pin Sate, and Zay Kone, as well as the Pyinmana Sugar Refinery. Yesterday U Thar Aung gave speeches in Si Kauk and Kyot Pin villages.

He’s had to arrange these events out of his own pocket, as K800,000 that the NUP promised it would give each of its Nay Pyi Taw candidates to cover campaign costs is yet to materialise due to the party’s “unhealthy” financial position.

Our party is poor – we are not like the others,” U Thar Aung said. “We haven’t received any payment yet. So far I’m spending my own money, including K500,000 on pamphlets.

“We also don’t have many volunteers and can’t use cars for campaigning like other parties. So we just go door to door … but that is more effective.”

NUP candidates are making 11 promises to voters in Nay Pyi Taw, which are being relayed through the door-to-door campaign. In addition to the university, they are pledging that farmers will have secure ownership over their land and the opportunity to grow “profitable” crops.

It’s unclear whether the promises are swaying voters. U Tun Tun, 48, from Tat Poe village, told The Myanmar Times after U Thar Aung canvassed in his village that he remained undecided on who to vote for. “I will cast a vote on election day but I haven’t decided yet which party I will vote.”

Another resident, Daw Hnin Si, 47, said she would vote for those “who are supposed to be good”.

The NUP will contest six seats of eight Pyithu Hluttaw seats in Nay Pyi Taw and both Amyotha Hluttaw seats.

U Myint Oo, an NUP candidate for Amyotha Hluttaw constituency 9 in Nay Pyi Taw, said the party was hopeful of winning some seats, even though it will be competing against much better resourced opponents from the Union Solidarity and Development Party and the National League for Democracy.

“We are confident that we will perform better than in 2010,” he said. “We expect to win two Pyithu Hluttaw seats and one in the Amyotha Hluttaw.”


Translation by Zar Zar Soe