ANFREL Observing Historic Elections in Myanmar in Support of the Country’s Democratisation
Yangon, 12 October – The Asian Network for Free Elections(ANFREL) deployed 20 Long Term Observers on October 12th to begin observing the pre-election period before the country’s November 08, 2015 Elections. The deployment is a continuation of ANFREL’s long-time support of strengthening democracy in Myanmar by supporting the integrity of electoral processes. ANFREL has been working in Myanmar over the last few years to enhance and sustain the capacity of civil society organizations and the media.
The ANFREL Election Observation Mission’s (EOM) specific objective is to strengthen Myanmar’s democratic processes by enhancing the integrity of the electoral process and the accountability of electoral stakeholders. To support these goals, ANFREL has chosen observers coming largely from the independent civil society groups and citizen monitoring organizations that make up its network across Asia.
A team of 20 Long-Term Observers (LTOs) and 28 Short-Term Observers (STOs) hailing from 18 different countries will be deployed to observe the General and Local Elections. The observers will observe across the country in pairs to collect a representative sample of the voting conditions across Myanmar. Prior to their deployment, the observers will be briefed in Yangon on the country’s political and electoral conditions and our mission planning.
The observation operation will be guided by ANFREL’s standard observation methodology which is tailored to comply with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation adopted by international organizations including the United Nation Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD). ANFREL is also guided by our shared principles that inspired the Bangkok Declaration on Free and Fair Elections and the creation of the Indicators on Free and Fair elections endorsed at the Asian Stakeholder Electoral Forum (AESF) held in Dili in March 2015.
In fulfillment of ANFREL’s commitment to maintaining gender equity, every effort is made to maintain a near equal ratio between male and female observers and its core team and support staff. The Head of Mission is Mr. Damaso Magbual, Chairman of ANFREL and one of the leaders of the National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) in the Philippines. The ANFREL core team managing the mission is made up of three election experts, two analysts and six Myanmar staff members.
ANFREL hopes to observe a genuine electoral process free from irregularities and fraud that will bring about a representative government that reflects the true will of the people. ANFREL believes that the presence of observers can help to make the entire process more transparent and accessible to the public and look forward to continued fruitful engagement with the Election Commission of Myanmar, local Civil Society Organizations, other election stakeholders, and most especially the people of Myanmar.
Formed in November 1997, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) has established itself as the preeminent regional NGO in Asia working on elections and democracy promotion. ANFREL focuses on Election observation as well as capacity building and development for national CSOs that are actively working on democratisation in their home countries. Since its formation, ANFREL has operated in more than 46 elections in 16 countries across Asia. Our long-term aim is to build expertise on elections and governance in the region, entrenching a culture of democracy that is seen as locally developed rather than externally imposed. Through observing elections in other countries, our observers have developed a strong understanding of international best practices – knowledge that can then be applied in their respective home countries. For more about us see www.anfrel.org.
Bidhayak Das (EOM Coordinator), Bidhayakd@anfrel.org | Cell-phone: +95-9254377919
Khin Nyein San: (Program officer), email@example.com | cell-phone: +95-9972320701