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Why Democracy Matters?
KAS PDA: Why do you think democratic values and principles are important for your country?
Mr. Minn Latt: Democracy is not just a system or a political belief but a practice that guarantees power to be held by the people, granted only to the freely and fairly elected persons, shared and divided so that it is not abused but protect the interests of the people. The legitimacy of a democratic regime comes only from the people through a rule by consensus. Citizens have multiple roles to participate in politics. Elected political elites are rotated. It can create an equal and equitable environment, so that it solves conflict peacefully and generate stability. It extends a wider scope for the sustainable development in governance and society as a whole. In the context of Myanmar, the first phase of Myanmar’s democracy lasted only for ten years, from 1948 to 1958. After half century of military dictatorship, Myanmar held its first election in 2010 and start a new journey of democratic transformation which is yet to finish if it is progressing. Myanmar people wanted democracy not only as a system. They want a just society where each and every citizen treats and be treated with dignity where the ruling government is responsible to its people, and all differences can exist peacefully together. It is important that we keep believing in democracy to make our society peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable.
KAS PDA: In your context, what do you think are the main challenges to democracy?
Mr. Minn Latt: Of course democracy today is facing a lot of challenges. It is being challenged ideologically from a political point of view. It is being challenged from an economic point of view. It is being challenged from the point of view of environmental damage and global climate change.
KAS PDA: As a young leader, what can you do to ensure that you become and remain a democratic leader?
Mr. Minn Latt: However, democracy is flexible, democracy is adaptable, and democracy is resilient if we work together, negotiate our conflicts and make a compromise. By that means, we can survive and sustain not only as a practice but also as a society as a whole.
Disclaimer: This interview excerpt is taken from the ADLA Video Series 2020 project which aims to seek for answers on the question "Why Democracy Matters?" from the KASYP alumni country representatives. The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed are those of the interviewee do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Any insights expressed in this content do not intend to hurt any individual, community, or organization.