Download the report to learn more about DIPD’s work on multiparty dialogue, women and youth in politics as well as the role of political parties and media in raising the public voice in Myanmar.
2016 was a remarkable year in Myanmar’s democratic development, defined by multiple political milestones in the wake of the 2015 parliamentary elections. The most notable was the peaceful handover of power from the Union Solidarity and Development Party to the National League for Democracy and the swearing in of the first elected civilian president. The new civilian administration inherited a country that has been struggling for a political solution to almost 70 years of armed conflict that has devastated the lives of minority communities and held back Myanmar as a whole. The first nationwide peace conference was held on 31 August with participation of nearly all armed groups as well as the government, military and political parties. Meanwhile 13 parties are represented in the national parliament, and the majority of seats are held by the governing party NLD.
In this setting, multiparty dialogue and cross-party cooperation is crucial in ensuring that all voices of society are included in the political processes determining the developments of Myanmar. Thus in 2016, DIPD in Myanmar stepped up its efforts to facilitate multiparty dialogue and cross-party cooperation on issues of joint concern. It has been promising to witness the political parties’ strong engagement in the dialogues on issues including natural resource revenue management, local elections, youth policy, and campaign finance reform. Results have been noticeable in the field of providing useful policy proposals to the municipal reform and the formulation of the national youth policy.
After the intense election campaign phase, the political parties are increasingly focusing on the other core functions of political parties and are now developing their party organisations and political policies in light of the new political dispensation. DIPD has responded to this by providing capacity building support in several fields, including training on media and public relations as well as on building the profiles of political parties as representative and accountable democratic institutions.
In 2016, DIPD enjoyed a strong partnership with the political parties in Myanmar and with the key national stakeholders in the electoral processes notably the UEC, civil society organisations and the media. Moreover, the continued collaboration with several international agencies was also important for our outreach and in particular the cooperation established in STEP Democracy supported by the EU.