Dansk Institut for Partier og Demokrati støtter demokratisering og udviklingen af en demokratisk kultur gennem partnerskaber med politiske partier, flerparti-platforme og institutioner i udvalgte lande i Afrika, Asien, Sydamerika og Mellemøsten.

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Valg i Myanmar 2020

Valget i Myanmar i dag er kun det andet siden militærdiktaturet, og helt uhyggeligt vigtigt. Der er gode tegn men også meget at være bekymret for. Nang Kham Yin Aung bruger bl.a. det hun har lært fra DIPD i sin valgkamp.

Med flere kvindelige men færre unge kandidater går partierne i Myanmar i dag til valg mod nogle svære odds. Der er 39 millioner vælgere som kan sætte deres kryds i dag, og det er kun anden gang efter mere end et halvt århundrede under militærdiktatur. Lokale siger at man ikke kan overvurdere, hvor vigtigt valget er. Valget foregår indtil videre fredeligt, men stemningen er anspændt.
Myndighederne har reduceret både hvor mange der kan stille op og hvor valget overhovedet må foregå. De har opløst United Democratic Party og dermed er antallet af kandidater til de 1119 pladser bragt ned til 5642 – mindre end ved valget i 2015.
Det har også vagt international opmærksomhed at myndighederne har aflyst valghandlinger i 56 lokalområder. Begrundelsen er, at den væbnede konflikt i områderne betyder at man ikke kan garantere frie og troværdige valghandlinger. Beslutningen om at aflyse valgene bliv er kritiseret af etnisk baserede partier, fordi det for eksempel har betydet udelukkelse af mindst 1.2 million vælgere i Rakhine provinsen og titusinder af vælger i andre stater og regioner i Myanmar.
Covid-19 har gjort de sædvanlige valgkampe svære, og sociale medier er et aktivt alternativ. I Myanmar er det særligt Facebook man bruger, og det er desværre et tveægget sværd. Der er problemer med hate-speech, desinformation og direkte opfordringer til vold. Facebook arbejder med flere i landet, heriblandt DIPD, for at blive bedre til at finde og fjerne indhold, der kan underminere valget. DIPS har arbejdet sammen med Facebook blandt andet ved at bekræfte så mange som 41 Facebook profiler for politiske partier og 14 for lokale valgkommissioner landet over.
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Myanmar 2020 General Elections

The number of young candidates in Myanmar has gone down. As Covid-19 closes irl venues, Facebook works with organizations such as DIPD to reduce the risk of abuse and misinformation.

The number of young candidates has gone by almost a fifth in today’s general elections in Myanmar. In the 2015 elections, political parties fielded approximately 734 young candidates. This year, this number fell to only 613, while the number of eligible young voters who will vote for the first time in this election stands at 5 million. More work needs to be done so that political parties can put forward more young candidates who not only will focus on issues of interest to a significant number of the young population but also bring a fresh perspective to old problems.
Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform in Myanmar by political parties, voters and the elections sub-commissions. Political parties whose campaigning activities suffered greatly because of the stay-home-orders or had their campaign speeches censored, found in Facebook an outlet to freely express their ideas and reach out to especially young voters.
Facebook is a double-edged weapon in Myanmar. While it provides an alternative campaigning venue to those affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, it can – and indeed it has been used – to incite violence, disseminate hate speech and spread misinformation ahead of the elections. In order to reduce the risk of abusing the platform, Facebook has been coordinating with all stakeholders including DIPD and other domestic and international organizations to enhance its algorithms to detect and remove harmful content that could undermine the elections. Facebook has also been collaborating with third party NGOs from Myanmar to investigate content reported by users as harmful.
In order to enhance transparency and accountability of online communications, DIPD collaborated with Facebook over the past year to verify 41 Facebook pages for political parties and 14 pages for the elections sub-commissions nationwide.
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Myanmar 2020 General Elections

Young female candidate on the ballot

Today 39 million voters can cast their vote in Myanmar’s second general elections after more than half a century of military rule. DIPD Program Alumni Nang Kham Yin Aung is among a rising number of female candidates

“Despite the COVID-19 situation, I have tried to reach out to the voters as much as I could. In my constituency, there are 14 tracts and 135 villages. I was able to plan my campaign well. I used the information that I gained in the training and collected demographic and geographic data about my electorates and district. I prioritized the areas for physical campaigning and I carefully choose my messages so they are clear and concise and resonate with my voters,” said Nang Kham Yin Aung, a DIPD Program Alumni and a candidate for the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) running for State and Regional Parliament.
The percentage of women candidates has increased to 16% compared to 13% in the 2015 elections. Over the past five years, a growing number of political parties have adopted gender sensitive policies to strengthen women engagement in both party politics and political life. Parties like SNLD, NDF and UBP have fielded women candidates 28%, 27% and 26% respectively of the total number of their candidates. A trend that is likely to continue in the future with more political parties embracing gender equality and equity.
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