As the 2020 general election is getting closer, establishing platforms that provide for direct interaction and engagement between different stakeholders including political parties and the Union Election Commission (UEC), is becoming more important. In mid-February, the EU-funded STEP Democracy convened a dialogue for Kayah State-based all registered political parties and the UEC in a preparation for the 2020 election.
The dialogue, which was attended by political parties and Kayah State sub-eleciton commissioners, provided participants with an opportunity to increase their awareness and knowledge and engage on important issues such as voter list update, advance voting, election campaigning, law/by-laws for political parties and voter education.
In the age of technology, it is essential for the members of the political parties to learn more about how they reach their voters. The members of the political parties were introduced to this as well as Facebooks transparancy tools and community standards. This was done in an interactive setting where the party members had a chance to discuss their concerns and questions about for example sharing of data, reporting of hate speech and much more.
Nan Wai Wai Tun from Kayah National Party also stressed the benefits for the political parties in learning more about social media and its potential role in the election. “Today, Facebook is a very popular social media platform in particular. So, this event is quite substantial because we’ve gained some skills on how to use Facebook more effectively for our election campaigning,” she said.
“This dialogue session provided the political parties and the commission a great opportunity to share their common understanding about the preparation for the 2020 general election and it would be great if we had a similar discussion again prior to election campaign period,” U Than Soe, chairman of Kayah State Sub-Election Commission said.
One of STEP Democracy’s international partners the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD) will continue supporting the dialogues between the UEC sub-commissioners and political parties throughout the different states/regions in Myanmar in the lead-up to the 2020 general election.