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October 24, 2019

Modern technology can help electoral process

  • The Union Government is committed to ensuring the 2020 general elections meet five standards: freedom of choice, fairness, transparency, accessibility, and compatibility between public desire and the election result.
    To meet the standards, the election strategy for 2019-2022 is being implemented, in accordance with the timeline. The performance of the sub-commissions, and the participation of the people and responsible groups from different sectors in the electoral process is critical to making the strategy a success.
    Facts and data from the previous general election are being used to draw a draft plan for holding the new election. After the election, facts and data collected nationwide by the sub-commissions will be announced and posted on the website of the UEC to make the results public.
    At the same time, the sub-commissions would be obliged to work with the cyber security police and follow instructions to quickly respond to cyber attacks, as the e-government system is being ramped up to ward off such attacks.
    We have found that the number of electoral disputes decreased in the by-elections thanks to the efforts of the electoral negotiation committees at different levels.
    To make the electoral process smooth, the members of the sub-commissions and the UEC need to ensure they provide information and documents to the people from all sectors through the UEC website and social media. This objective is included in Chapter 5 of the strategic plan for the 2019-2022 polls.
    To release timely information about electoral processes, we should take advantage of social media, especially Facebook, which is current the most popular social networking site among Myanmar youths. Why? An estimated five million youths will be voting for the first time in the upcoming general elections.
    The Facebook platform also needs to be used to promote youth participation in the election process, and to launch electoral education and awareness campaigns.
    It is undeniable that social media plays an important role in the modern world, and its pages are popular platforms for sharing information.
    But, there are advantages and disadvantages, or challenges, in using social media. The challenges include reporting of pessimistic news, false news, fake news, and unofficial and fake social media pages.
    Therefore, the sub-commissions need to be well prepared to respond to fake news and rumors in a timely manner. The sub-commissions are urged to use modern technologies effectively to successfully implement the commissions’ works and the 2020 general elections processes, in accordance with the five norms.

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