Name : H.E. U Htay Oo
Nationality : Vice Chairman of USDP and
Member of Parliament in the Pyithu Hluttaw.
MI: How did you start your career as a civil servant and how did you end up in this position?
I joined the OTS ( 43th ) intake after graduated from the Ragoon art and science university, specialization in Physics.
I had served in the Military since 1972. My last position was Commander of South-western Army Headquarter and Re- gional commander of Pathein, Ayeyarwady Division. Just a week before the Goverment announced its roadmap to democracy, where it provided a seven-step process in re- storing democracy in the country, I became the General Secretary of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), at that time, Union Solidarity and Development Party was just a society association, not a political party .
USDA had worked as a medium between People and Government. Currently, Political parties have been working as a medium but we can’t form a new party as law back then.
So We had worked charity for civil society in Myanmar as Non- Government Organiza- tion (NGO).
Military Government announced “roadmap to democracy” on 30 August 2003 in State media. We tried so hard and carried out to success for every step of seven-step process. As a fruit of our labor, we can see achievement vividly.
USDP have been pushing for the country towards a path of multiparty democracy and adopted a market-oriented economic system.
I am also a member of Parliament in the Pyithu Hluttaw and vicechariman of USDP. MI: Can you describe your main responsibilities?
There are two kinds of objectives, long term and short term. For long term, Myanmar has to become a modern developed, stable and peaceful country in accordance with the new Constitution. Stability of the state and prevalence of law and order including ceasefire in country and keeping stability of the State, community and tranquility is first objective for our country in my opinion. Secondly, lasting peace and developing economy are aimed at achieving stability, peace and development of the country.
Regarding the elections, election must be fair and square. All nationality can vote whoever they like, who they think can do or generate prosperity for them. I stand for righteous.
Even though we have short term objectives, we never neglect our main objective. We want to win the election 2015 because we want to continue the system that was laid out for Myanmar to become a modern de- veloped, peace and tranquil country.
MI: What is the biggest challenge of someone in your position?
As Vice Chairman of USDP, unity is the most important thing in my opinion. I mean not only within the party but also among other political parties. To develop country, we must be work together. So unity is the strength and a vital thing to form a national government.
MI: What is your election strategy?
There are lot of remarkable changes that USDP has carried out. The obvious change I would like to cite is the change in the inter- national relations; the friendly relationship between Myanmar and neighboring coun- tries has been maintained, and it ties with the countries that had imposed sanctions on Myanmar in the past had improved, pushing forward for economic development together with us.
I also want to point out the opening up of media sector. Media now has much more freedom compared to the past.
With the foundation already formed for lasting peace, Myanmar’s nationwide ceasefire accord is also expected to be signed very soon.
So we want people across the country to remember what we have been doing.
We have been uplifting the economy and social life of the entire nation.USDP actions speak louder than work. This is our election strategy.
MI: How are you going to get the message across that USDP can serve MM interest better than NLD?
Even for selection of MPs (Member of Par- liament), USDP shortlisted its candidates since 2006 for 2010 election. To become a member of parliament, you not only want to contribute prosperity but also have the ability. Potential MPs must also be social persons and can communicate well with lo- cal constituents. They will then spread our USDP message on what we had done and what we will do. And we going to get the message across that USDP can serve Myan- mar interest better than NLD via a door to door system.
MI: Social media has been bombarded with pro NLD messages. How is your strategy to counter this and overall social media strategy?
Regarding spread of information between public, when we analyze users of Facebook, they are 2 % of the population. Another me- dia is the Journals but most of them sold in thousands, not millions.
So it is best for our local candidate to explain what we had done, what we are currently doing and what we will do in future for our country’s prosperity and development to local constituency where they will contest with example. For the whole country, we distrib- uted the CD that featured USDP songs.
MI: For the benefits of the international readers, can you briefly explain the recent leadership changes at USDP?
President cannot take part in USDP activities as the Constitution does not allow. We obey and follow the rule. So the most responsible man of USDP is me. What we are doing is as a party, not as one person’s decision. There are 53 members as Central Executive Committee and 5 as secretaries. We never decide based on only one person’s decision. We always negotiate and consult as group. We hold weekly and monthly meetings.
MI: What are USDP promises if it wins the election?
USDP actions speak louder than words. We show proof by the work we had done. I did not make any promise to Hinthada constit uent. But we are always ready to contribute or help towards nation as usual. USDP’s objective is stability and development of the country. So we will help whatever sector in need .
MI: What are your plans, if no one party achieve the votes needed to form a Government?
I believe that there are lots of parties that admire our rules and policies. We are not same party but the vision, the objects are same. So I believe they will support our Party eventually if we need to form the new Government with their votes.
MI: What is your target numbers of seats that you expect to win?
USDP would nominate a total of 1,130 candidates to contest the national wide election.My target numbers of seats is 70 or 80 percentage.
MI: How are you using media to get your campaign message across?
We use most media outlets – print, broad- cast and online. Regarding online, we use Facebook to spread information to public. There are messages through the phones too. Our main push is through is word of mouth (door to door system) to spread information. There are also 82 campaign songs. We will distribute CDs and pamphlet as campaign.
MI: What factors would cause people to favor USDP over NLD?
Our party’s objective is stability and development of the country.As I previous said, USDP made lots of remarkable changes of the country in the past few years. People will notice that what we have been doing benefit then . We will continue to contribute to where help is needed most.
MI: What would the government do differently if it won the second term?
USDP is a winning party in the 2010 general election with its chairman being elected as the country’s president. The government under the leadership of U Thein Sein had brought about remarkable changes for the country in the past five years. But past five year is not sufficient. The change is incom- plete as the party has not finished the task that was laid out to help Myanmar become a peaceful and developing economy.
MI: What would be the final message that you want to leave for the voters?
As I mentioned earlier, USDP had helped and contributed to country and is always ready to help . USDP is already ready for the future.[/paypal]