August 19, 2016


EU observers praise Myanmar’s polls, but note some flaws

Chief Observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff in the press conference in Yangon. Photo: EU EOM Myanmar
Chief Observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff in the press conference in Yangon. Photo: EU EOM Myanmar

MYANMAR’S 2015 general elections were well-run and peaceful, said the European Union’s election observation mission during a press conference yesterday.
Polling stations around the country were well organised and voters had a real choice between different candidates, said Chief Observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff while summarising the mission’s preliminary statement about Sunday’s historic vote.
Approximately 150 election observers visited more than 500 polling stations across the country and reported very positively on the voting process, with 95 percent rating the process as “good or very good,” said the chief observer.
“People of Myanmar turned out in large numbers to calmly cast their votes in a well-run polling process and the election campaign period was nearly entirely peaceful.”
Most voters’ names were on the voter list, with irregularities observed at seven percent of polling stations, he added. The process of in-constituency and out-of-constituency advance voting was less well managed and transparent, the mission chief pointed out.
“I want to say very clearly that the election is not over yet. As long as counting is going on and until the final results are announced the election is still ongoing,” said the mission chief.
He added that EU observers will remain in the field to observe the tabulation and result processes, as well as any complaints or appeals lodged.
He said that the mission will remain in Myanmar until 2 December to observe dispute resolution and complaint mechanisms.
“We congratulate the people of Myanmar and we will continue to support the democratisation of the country,” said Ms Ana Gomes, head of the European Parliament’s delegation.
“Now is the time to seize the opportunity for reconciliation,” she said during the press conference.


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