Groups want 2020 elec­tions date fixed

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - NAW BETTY HAN naw­bet­ty­han@mm­

Elec­tion watch groups will ask the Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to fix the date for the 2020 elec­tions to en­able them pre­pare for polls, said a civic group of­fi­cial.

ELEC­TION watch groups will ask the Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to set the date for the 2020 elec­tions so they can pre­pare for their ac­tiv­i­ties to en­sure fair and hon­est polls, an of­fi­cial of the civic group said.

“We col­lected the sug­ges­tions of civil so­ci­eties from ev­ery state and re­gion and we will re­port to the gov­ern­ment. The dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions agreed that in or­der to im­prove the elec­tions watch process, we have to know soon­est the date of the next elec­tions,” said U Sai Ye Kyaw Zwar Myint, the spokeper­son of the Peo­ple’s Al­liance for Cred­i­ble Elec­tions.

“To­day is the best time to start prepa­ra­tions for com­ing elec­tion watch process,’’ he said dur­ing a fo­rum to im­prove par­tic­i­pa­tion of civil so­ci­eties in the elec­tions.

The two day fo­rum held on Septem­ber 14 and 15, gath­ered sug­ges­tions of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 89 or­gan­i­sa­tions co­op­er­at­ing with the Peo­ple’s Al­liance for Cred­i­ble Or­ga­ni­za­tions (PACE) on how to im­prove the con­duct and mon­i­tor­ing of the elec­tions in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to U Sai Ye Kyaw Zwar Myint.

PACE was es­tab­lished in 2013, as a re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion on elec­tion watch process. The or­gan­i­sa­tion un­der­took over 3000 sur­veys in Myan­mar and also an­nounced the re­sults of its sur­veys for the 2015 elec­tion and the 2017 by-elec­tion.

“We will sup­port the com­ing elec­tion to en­sure its fair­ness and in­tegrity as much as we can,” said Daw Than Than Aye, the mem­ber of 88 Peace and Open So­ci­ety, Lashio Town­ship.

Ac­cord­ing to the fo­rum, the Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion has to be in­de­pen­dent, re­spon­si­ble and its mem­bers must be qual­i­fied to hold their po­si­tions.

The voter lists is one of the main chal­lenges for trans­parency and re­spon­si­bil­ity and also the elec­tion cost must be sta­ble and should not be de­pen­dent on lo­ca­tions and vote ar­eas.

The fo­rum noted that elec­tion cam­paign costs must be lim­ited in or­der that the up­com­ing elec­tions is fair and just. The main re­spon­si­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions are the par­lia­ment and the Union Elec­tion Com­mis­sion and the par­tic­i­pa­tion and vig­i­lance of all cit­i­zens.

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