Political parties in Myanmar are now preparing for the November 8th elections. They are increasingly expressing concerns on whether the electoral process will be free, fair and transparent. To assist parties prepare themselves, DIDP, through its Myanmar Multiparty Democracy Programme, held a dialogue and capacity development session in Kalay for active political parties in Chin State.
Chin State is one of the most marginalised areas of Myanmar, with extremely limited transport and communications infrastructure. These challenges make participation in the electoral process and campaigns particularly difficult. Besides, the political parties have only limited trust in the electoral process. They are particularly concerned about the voter register and whether it will reflect the actual voting population.
During the dialogue session, MMDP listened to the parties’ reflections regarding the elections, and provided advice on how parties can participate in activities such as the update of the voter register. Party leaders were able to exchange ideas on how to make sure that the playing field will be level in advance of the coming elections. All parties agreed that multiparty dialogue can help promote better inter-party relations and also identify and resolve situations where the playing field may not be level.
On the second day, MMDP provided capacity development support with a focus on party structure and internal communication; media and communications; and the inclusion of women and youth in party activities. Parties in Chin State identified ways to improve their internal communication and organisation in the challenging context in which they operate. A participant from Chin League for Democracy expressed, “You helped us analyse the real situation of our parties and we now see our strengths and weaknesses” and uttered appreciation that this would help them build their parties for the future.
MMDP will continue to engage with Chin State political parties as they prepare for the elections and beyond. A participant from Union Solidarity and Development Party requested that, “We hope DIPD will provide support for multiparty discussions in the future”. DIPD plans to continue regular engagement with political parties in Chin State leading up to the elections and beyond.
A total of 45 participants from eight different parties participated in two day session.
For more information
Khin Thazin Myint, Myanmar Country Coordinator, +95 9 421 009 560 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Hanne Lund Madsen, Senior Adviser, +45 38402802 (email@example.com)