YANGON—Election monitors are being recruited in Kayah and Shan states as a preparatory measure for the upcoming 2015 general election, according to the Free and Fair Election Monitoring Network (FFEMN).
“We are now starting to recruit election monitors in Kayah and Shan states. Our network has already worked with 12 civic organizations. In Kayah and Shan states, the civic organizations are very few compared to other states and regions. That’s why we are aiming for more participation by civil society, which would help guarantee free and fair elections,” said FFEMN member Myo Yan Naung Thein.
The network is now implementing the task of gathering election monitors according to a regionally-based system. Moreover, the network is gathering those who want to participate not only as organizations but also as individuals. There are seven election monitoring organizations from civil society that will work on electoral tasks with the other civic organizations. During the 2010 election, there were no monitors.
“Although monitors were present to observe the 2012 by-election, systematic arrangements and cooperation were very uncommon among the voters,” Myo Yan Naung Thein added.
“The government will allow observers to monitor the upcoming 2015 election after issuing official identity cards with the aim of holding of 2015 election fairly. The electoral tasks must be carried out by polling station members in accordance with the law, together with the civic organizations,” Tin Aye, chairperson of the Union Election Commission (UEC) said at the coordination meeting between the UEC and civic organizations held on March 13.