More young people in Myanmar taking up arms

First published on the Bangkok Post on 28 February 2022, "More young people in Myanmar taking up arms" was produced under the ANFREL Southeast Asia Media Fellowship on Election Reporting. Young people in Mon State who not long ago were actively engaged in campaigning for elections in Myanmar have shifted from protesting

Thailand: Why do we have so few women in Parliament?

First published on workpointTODAY on 17 February 2022, "Thailand: Why do we have so few women in Parliament?" was produced under the ANFREL Southeast Asia Media Fellowship on Election Reporting. By Wasinee Pabuprapap Women have held leadership positions in different sectors of society in Thailand, even in public office but they remain

Elections during COVID-19: Reforms can cure ailing democracy

First published on Malaysiakini on 30 January 2022, "Elections during COVID-19: Reforms can cure ailing democracy" was produced under the ANFREL Southeast Asia Media Fellowship on Election Reporting. By Ng Xiang Yi The poor voter turnout in the Malacca (65.85 percent) and Sarawak (60.67 percent) state elections last year amid the Covid-19

Vietnam’s Festival of the People celebrates electoral failures

First published on Southeast Asia Globe on 2 December 2021, "Vietnam’s Festival of the People celebrates electoral failures" was produced under the ANFREL Southeast Asia Media Fellowship on Election Reporting. Trinh and her husband went to his family’s house in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuân district, where they lived before moving to a new

Myanmar Situation Update ( 14 – 20 February 2022)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conducted the annual foreign ministers meeting on 16-17 February 2021 without the participation of Myanmar as ASEAN denied junta’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin joining the meeting in Phnom Penh. The decision not to invite Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin also reflected a disagreement within

Statement: ANFREL dismayed by prolonged democracy score decline in Asia; raises concerns about Democracy Index methodology  

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is dismayed by the continuous retreat of democracy in Asia, as measured by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s latest Democracy Index. The overall regional average score for Asia and Australasia peaked at 5.74 in 2016, and has continuously declined since 2019 from 5.67 to 5.62

Democracy in Peril: One Year of Junta Repression in Myanmar

Myanmar ruling party National League of Democracy won a landslide victory in the general election on 8 November 2020, winning 396 out of 476 elected seats (83%) in the Union Parliament. The military-linked opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party, however, alleged that there were irregularities in the electoral process and demanded fresh

Monthly Brief on Countries under Restrictive Environment – Series #9: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Malaysia & Myanmar (December 2021)

The following is the December issue of ANFREL's Monthly Brief on Countries under Restrictive Environment to provide an update on democracy and election-related issues in selected countries and territories under a restrictive environment. Download here: Monthly Brief on Countries under Restrictive Environment - Series #9: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar & Hong Kong

ANFREL Newsletter (October-December 2021)

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is commemorating 25 years of advancing electoral democracy in Asia in 2022. In the last quarter of 2021, ANFREL organized the Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum 5 where participants adopted the “AESF 5 Memorandum: The Way Forward for Elections Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic.” ANFREL also observed

Monthly Brief on Countries under Restrictive Environment – Series #8: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar & Hong Kong (November 2021)

The following is the November issue of ANFREL's Monthly Brief on Countries under Restrictive Environment to provide an update on democracy and election-related issues in selected countries and territories under a restrictive environment. Download here: Monthly Brief on Countries under Restrictive Environment - Series #8: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar & Hong Kong (November 2021)

ANFREL Statement: Thai local elections successful, but procedural changes would be welcome

Bangkok, 30 November 2021 Thailand held on Sunday 28 November 2021 its first tambon/sub-district administration organization (TAO) elections since the 2014 coup. This followed on provincial elections and municipal elections held in December 2020 and March 2021, respectively. ANFREL welcomes this long-overdue return to local democracy, congratulates the voters, the Election Commission

Myanmar Situation Update (8- 14 November 2021)

According to Myanmar’s National Unity Government’s (NUG) Defense Ministry, 1,300 junta soldiers were killed and 463 injured in clashes with civilian resistance groups in October which was almost double the number the junta’s forces suffered in September. The verdict against Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi for alleged violations of COVID-19

Myanmar Situation Update (1- 7 November 2021)

Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has denied two charges that she allegedly breached COVID-19 restrictions during the 2020 general election campaign. Four soldiers and a policeman involved in the raid of Aung San Suu Kyi's residence were cross-examined by her lawyers in the trial for illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies.

Myanmar Situation Update (25-31 October 2021)

Myanmar’s ousted leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appeared at the Naypyitaw’s court and deny the charge of incitement made by the junta as she testified on her own behalf since she was detained during the 1 February coup1. U Win Htein, the detained patron of the NLD party, was sentenced to

AESF 5 Memorandum: The Way Forward for Elections Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic

The fifth Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum (AESF 5) participants developed a memorandum which provides insights on the way forward for elections beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic compounded the already existing unprecedented attacks to democracy and the continuous backsliding of fundamental freedoms worldwide, AESF 5 gathered a diversity of election

Myanmar Situation Update (18-24 October 2021)

At least 110 people, including rock singer Ito, NLD members and anti-regime protesters, have been rearrested across the country by the junta immediately after being released, while the junta said that more than 5,600 people in custody or wanted for anti-junta activism would be released or have their arrest warrants canceled1. The

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