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Voters have responsibility to ensure the creation of a new democratic Myanmar


President Thein Sein at his first-ever press conference in 2012. Photo: Ye Min/Mizzima

President Thein Sein at his first-ever press conference in 2012. Photo: Ye Min/Mizzima

President U Thein Sein said in his message on the International Day of Democracy on Tuesday that democracy is an administrative system in which each and every citizen has been accorded an equal voice in matters of civic or political decision making and with equal rights and privileges to enjoy a full civic and political life.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Democracy is ‘Public Participation in Democracy’.

He also added that for a culture of democracy in society to take root, matters relating to democratic practices, values and attitudes must be widely circulated and instilled into society. This means every citizen must be able to differentiate and balance the rights, responsibilities and accountabilities which are the essence of democracy.

The president continued that the development and progress of democracy is shaped by unique historical background, societies, traditions, cultures and values, by political parties as well as the political, social and economic institutions and all the stakeholders of the country.

He said while approaches to building a democratic society may vary and democracy may manifest itself in different forms or shapes, the fundamental prerequisites are maturity in people’s mind-sets, their disciplines, and their mental abilities to perceive, distinguish and assess the development of a democracy that responds to their needs.

U Thein Sein said the upcoming 2015 General Election is one of the huge tasks for transitioning Myanmar towards democracy, and that voters, on their part, also have responsibilities and duties to ensure the creation of a new democratic state in the future with their votes.

He also said all the citizens who are eligible to vote have a duty to cast their ballots to elect representatives who  will truly represent the interests of the people and who truly possess the qualities of good public representation. Electing the right representatives would be conducive for all citizens to achieve their goals of building a transparent and free society where democracy will flourish.

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