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RJSH

Rangsit Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities

ISSN 2286-976X (Print)

ISSN 2539-5513 (Online)

Free and Fair elections in Myanmar: A Case Study of the 2015 and 2020 General Elections in Myanmar

  • Hnin Set Win, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Rangsit University, Pathum Thani, Thailand
  • Sasiphattra Siriwato, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Rangsit University, Pathum Thani, Thailand, Corresponding author, E-mail: sasiphattra.s@rsu.ac.th

Abstract

Election law and electoral system are formed according to its national conditions. Myanmar has been recognized that it has a truly democratic election for the first time after 2015 general election. Arranging free and fair elections is a very important basic of democracy. This research aims to find out whether political candidates still have more challenges with freedom of participation in the 2020 general election when compared with the 2015 general election and to analyze whether the 2020 general election process is freer and fairer when compared with the 2015 general election. Approximately, six participants who were the political candidates from the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in the 2020 general election in Myanmar were interviewed. This research found that there were three main challenges for the political candidates in the 2020 general election. The first challenge is no freedom of participation in the election, especially in rural areas. The second challenge is that some political parties lost their constituencies because of armed conflict zones and the last challenge is that some candidates had been abducted and abused by an armed group before the election. Furthermore, this research also found that there were two reasons why this election was freer and fairer than the 2015 general election. The first reason is that the 2020 general election was more transparent because citizens, media, and many local and international observers were closely observing the election process. However, only a few observers were allowed to observe the 2015 general elections. The second reason is that the Union Election Commission (UEC) organized the 2020 general election very well, especially the advanced voting system. In this election, elderly voters, overseas voters, and Burmese voters who were in the quarantine centers across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic were able to vote in this election. However, it can be said that the 2020 election was not completely free and fair.

Keywords: Free and fair election in Myanmar, The 2015 general election in Myanmar, The 2020 general election in Myanmar, Election processes in Myanmar

PDF (397.33 KB)

DOI: 10.14456/rjsh.2021.9

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