Several foreign embassies in Myanmar have voiced support for the upcoming general elections set for November and have been providing technical, training and donor support to the Union Election Commission, according to a joint press release on March 3.
In a “Joint Statement on Election Support” from the embassies of Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, the embassies said they warmly welcomed the political reforms that have occurred in Myanmar, particularly the Myanmar government’s announcement that a general election will be held in late 2015.
The election will be an important milestone in Myanmar’s transition to democracy and an opportunity to reaffirm to the world its commitment to political reform. As development partners, the embassies said they are supporting Myanmar’s efforts to prepare for the elections, the statement says.
“The 2015 elections is the responsibility of the Myanmar government in partnership with its people, and its success will be measured by the integrity of the electoral process and an outcome that reflects the will of the people of this country. Credible, transparent, and inclusive electoral processes require long-term engagement with all stakeholders throughout the electoral cycle. We understand that building confidence in an election starts well before Election Day and includes confidence in the integrity of international election support,” the statement says.
Based on international best practice, Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States are coordinating their donor support to government and non-government organizations in this electoral process.
“As donors and partners, we also commit to adhere to the principles of transparency, inclusiveness and equity. Our assistance aims to support and institutionalize the democratic process, and does not support any specific party or candidate,” the statement says.
They say they are providing the Union Election Commission with technical support on international best practices as it relates to electoral administration, including an updated national voter list. They are also providing training for election observers and stakeholder support.
In addition to the targeted elections support, they will continue to promote a peaceful and inclusive election environment. Freedom of the media, freedom of expression, nondiscrimination, and protection of human and associated rights are central to a credible election process, the statement says.