Myanmar election stakeholders dialogue with Philippine counterparts

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.3, No.3

Members of the Myanmar (Burma) Union Election Commission as well as representatives from civil society were in the country from September 22-27 for a study trip sponsored by IFES Philippines to dialogue with their counterparts and to connect with electoral peers. According to IFES, the activity was also held “to provide the opportunity to understand obstacles and opportunities facing the democratic process in other countries and gain valuable insights into approaches to overcome these obstacles from their peers.

To accomplish this goal, a knowledge-sharing meeting was held on the 26th with members of Philippine election monitoring organizations, the media, and other non-government organizations.

The guests from Myanmar were particularly interested to learn from their Philippine counterparts the procedures and activities pertaining to the code of conduct observed during elections, voters education (specifically about when they are being done), any election rules pertaining to religion, the conduct of by-elections (which the Philippines does not have), and voting for PWDs. The guests were also interested to learn about the Philippine Constitution's provisions on elections, as well as campaign regulations and campaign finance.

On the topic of the election commission working closely  with election monitoring groups, NAMFREL council member Damaso Magbual stressed the importance of seeing each other as partners, working together and having regular dialogue, and harmonizing each other’s calendar of activities.

In July, Mr. Magbual, as chairman of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), met with U Tin Aye, Chief Election Commissioner of Myanmar and the rest of the commissioners and election directors to talk about the 2015 elections in Myanmar as well as plans to monitor the process.
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