Political parties in Myanmar are going all out to attract younger members ahead of the elections at the end of the year, hoping that the outreach to young voters will rejuvenate the parties according to a report by Channel News Asia on 4 June.
Almost 16 million of Myanmar’s 51 million population are aged between 15 and 24.
Like some of her peers, 23-year-old Ei Than Dar joined the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), Myanmar’s ruling party, hoping to make a contribution to this nation. She believes that while she may be considered young today, she and others like her will be the leaders of tomorrow. She is of the view that young people have a very important role to play.
According to the USDP, around two million party members are aged between 18 and 35. The party believes very much in giving them new responsibilities so they can work the ground with guidance from experienced members.
A Union Solidarity and Development Party Central Committee Member, Tint Zaw, said it is easy for young members to contest an election, “but they need the experience to be part of the government function.”
“We now assign them to work as campaign managers; I want the young people to bring the message of the party leaders to the people. The elders listen to the problems of the people, and the youths can come up with practical solutions.”
Solutions are what young leaders like Ni Ni May Myint from the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party are trying to propose to help develop Myanmar. She noted that young people in the NLD are extremely involved and engaged in party activities.
She said, “We can campaign actively for the upcoming elections. Our young members can convince other young people by explaining the party's policies. We can refresh and promote our party's image with new ideas from the young people.”