EU monitors deploy for election

YANGON — The first European Union observers to monitor an election in Myanmar have begun being deployed in states and regions throughout the country ahead of the ballot on November 8.

The 30 long-term members of the EU Election Observation Mission arrived in Yangon on October 7 and were given a three-day briefing before heading to their respective states and regions on October 11.

“They will observe the entire electoral process prior, during and after the general election,” deputy chief observer Mark Stevens told a news briefing.

Mr Stevens said the long-term observers were being deployed in all states, regions and territories and in both urban and rural areas.

The EU – one of four organisations to monitor the ballot – is deploying the observers at the invitation of the Union Election Commission, with which it has signed a memorandum of understanding for the operation.

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The 30 long-term monitors are due to be joined by 62 short-term observers and the EU contingent will total about 150 on election day, including a Yangon-based core team.

Mr Stevens said the role of the EU mission is only to observe the election. “It “does not interfere in the electoral process,” he said.

The mission’s role would include analysing aspects of the legal framework, the administration of the election, campaign activities by candidates and political parties, media coverage, voting and the tabulation of results and the resolution of election-related disputes, Mr Stevens said.

The EU mission will issue a preliminary report two days after the election, on November 10, with a final report later.

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