August 19, 2016

Play it fair and square

For a country to be truly democratic, the election process must give voters full and unfettered rights to choose their representatives in government. It is obvious that political parties and independent candidates are key stakeholders who are assigned to perform the representative function of the public in general.
All politicians are responsible for encouraging their fellow supporters to play an active part in the political process by convincing them how effective their votes are in shaping the policies for the country. Another important thing about standing for election is that the electoral competition must be fair and peaceful, as well as free from hate speech and defamation. That is to say, there ought to be no dirty tricks.
On top of that is electoral integrity, which is central to the success of elections. This case highlights the importance of winning public support. Not only the election commissions but also the political parties and independent candidates must strive for credible public support. Otherwise, electoral integrity becomes more of a political problem than a technical problem.
At a time when people in Myanmar still feel reluctant to get involved in the political process, the inaccuracies of the electoral rolls no doubt pose a major hindrance to potential voters. This calls for political parties, independent candidates and voters to come up with more sense than prejudice. Our hope is to build a genuine democracy without further hindrance.


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