September 25, 2017

EU mission will not interfere in election process: chief observer

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, chief observer of the EU’s election observation mission speaks at a press conference marking the conclusion of his five-day visit to Myanmar in Yangon yesterday.
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, chief observer of the EU’s election observation mission speaks at a press conference marking the conclusion of his five-day visit to Myanmar in Yangon yesterday.

The European Union’s election observation mission is solely focused on the credibility of Myanmar’s general election of 8 November and it will not engage in partisan activities, said Chief Observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff yesterday.
We do not care who wins the elections: what we do care about is to ensure the election is credible and transparent,” the mission chief said during a press conference in Yangon yesterday.
“Another thing we will not do is take instructions from anyone; whether it be an EU institution, a member state, a Myanmar government agency, the election commission or what not.”
The mission chief, who is also the deputy speaker of the EU’s parliament, said the EU’s observer mission will not interfere in electoral processes.
“These are the elections of the Myanmar people. We are observers. We will not interfere if we see something that we believe does not correspond to international standards or some regulations.”
He explained that the mission of election observation will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process — prior to, on and after the general election of 8 November.
The mission will issue a preliminary statement two days after the elections and a final report with technical recommendations for future elections will be published three-to-four months after the election, he told the press conference.
Voting, counting and tabulation of results, the resolution of election related disputes will be included in the mission’s analysis.
The chief observer has met with a number of senior government officials, including the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Union Parliament Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann and the chairman of the Union Election Commission U Tin Aye.
During his five-day visit to Myanmar, Mr Graf Lambsdorff also met with the leaders of the country’s two major parties, the USDP and NLD, and representatives from civil society groups. He also observed political candidates’ campaigning in Yangon and Mandalay regions.
He told the media that the Commander-in-Chief agreed that the election observation team should have access to military polling stations to observe voting procedures.
He said that the EU team of 150 observers will travel widely to carry out their duties, including regions inhabited by ethnic minority groups.
The EU’s election observation mission arrived in Myanmar on 26 September with a core team of eight analysts. Thirty long-term observers were deployed on 11 October. Another 62 short-term observers, together with a delegation comprising members of the European Parliament and EU diplomats, will be present in Myanmar on the day of the election, according to a press release issued at the press conference yesterday.
Caption: Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, chief observer of the EU’s election observation mission speaks at a press conference marking the conclusion of his five-day visit to Myanmar in Yangon yesterday.— Photo: Ye Myint
Caption: Together with press and public outreach officer Eberhard Laue (far left) and deputy chief observer Mark Stevens (far right), Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (middle), chief observer of EU’s election observation mission, addresses a press conference in Yangon yesterday.

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