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The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of

International IDEA and can in no way be taken to reflect the


views of the European Union.
Domestic Election Observers
Do’s and Don’ts

The Union Election Commission has


released guidelines for Domestic Election
Observers to outline their legal rights,
duties and Code of Conduct in the elections.
Domestic Election Observers are advised to
carry this document with them as a reference
during the observation work.

Accredited Domestic Election Observers


have the right to:
• Legal protection and security of the
Republic of the Union of Myanmar;
• Observe and access information about
electoral activities;
• Observe advance voting, voting,
counting and tabulation of results;
• Observe inside the polling station (after
reporting to and following the dutiful
instructions of the Presiding Officer);
• Use electronic equipment to record the
electoral process except inside a polling
station; and

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• Inform the relevant Election Sub-
commission if unlawful conducts in
election are discovered.

Accredited Election Observers have the duty


to:
• Respect and acknowledge the
sovereignty of the Republic of the Union
of Myanmar and to follow the laws and
bylaws;
• Display the Observer Identification
card allocated by the UEC or its Sub-
Commission throughout observation;
• Respect the role, rank, duty, and
authority of electoral officials;
• Respect local customs and culture;
• Observe objectively and without bias; and
• Abide by the Observer Code of Conduct.

Election Observers should:


• Be non-partisan and impartial free of
individual bias;
• Maintain strict political impartiality in
the course of their duties at each phase
of the observation process;
• Not show any support or opposition to a

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political party or a candidate, including
wearing any clothes or signs;
• Be trained by their observation
organization about the Observer Code
of Conduct, accessible and secure
voting for people with disabilities,
and the election laws, regulations and
procedures;
• Perform duties honestly and responsibility;
• Submit accurate and honest reports;
• Cooperate with other observers; and
• Follow lawful instructions of presiding
officers of polling stations in order to
protect secrecy of the vote.

Election Observers should not:


• Ask for whom a voter has cast a vote
within 15 yards of the polling station in
order to maintain secrecy of the vote;
• Carry weapons or explosive materials;
• Conduct any activity that can influence
the duties and rights of electoral officials
and voters;
• Disturb or interfere in secrecy of the
vote, voting, counting, announcement of
results or the electoral disputes process;

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• Make statements to the media about the
election unless authorized to do so by
their observation organization.

On Behalf of Observers, Accredited Election


Observation Organizations have the duty to:
• Facilitate the obtaining of identification
cards for their observers;
• Ensure the accuracy of electoral
information submitted by the observation
organization;
• Inform the Union Election Commission
and respective Election Sub-commissions
depending on the location of observation;
and
• Submit the final report of electoral
observation to Union Election
Commission or respective Election
Sub-commissions.

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Global Best Practices in
Non-Partisan Citizen Election
Observation and practical tips for
Domestic Election Observers

The following guidance was prepared by


the National Democratic Institute (NDI)-
Myanmar.

Global Best Practices in Non-Partisan Citizen


Election Observation
Based on The Declaration of Global Principles
for Non-partisan Election Observation
initiated by the Global Network of Domestic
Election Monitors (GNDEM)
Non-partisan election observation has been
practiced by millions of citizens around the
world for more than 30 years. As observation
organizations gained experience over many
elections, they began to identify common
best practices, ethics and standards that
made their work more effective. In 2012,
election observers from around the world
came together at the United Nations to

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agree to common standards and launch the
Global Principles for Non-partisan Election
Observation. Today, over 260 organizations
from around the world (including Myanmar)
have endorsed and promised to abide by the
Global Principles. Below are highlights of
those global standards for election observers.

The Contribution of Citizen Observation


Around the world, non-partisan citizen
election observation helps to raise public
confidence and promote the integrity of
elections. Election observation can help to
deter irregularities and electoral manipulation.
It provides the public with important
information concerning the integrity of
elections, as well as recommendations
for improving the process in the future.
Importantly, it provides citizens an important
avenue to take part in their electoral processes.

The Role of the Non-partisan Citizen Election
Observers
Election observers play an important role
to provide independent, non-partisan and
impartial scrutiny of the election. Election

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observers should work for the rights of all
citizens to participate in the elections. In order
to remain non-partisan, election observers
should maintain strict impartiality in the
course of their duties and remain independent
from political parties and candidates in the
elections. In order to remain independent
in their judgment of elections, observers
should not interfere in the work of election
commissions to implement the election
process.

Global Best Practices for Election


Observation Organizations
• Maintain independence from political
parties and from the government
• Design and use good methodology
that will show an accurate picture of
the election (including checklists used
by observers and tools to collect and
analyze their findings)
• Cooperate with other non-partisan
election observation organizations
• Train all observer volunteers on Codes
of Conduct, methodology and election

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regulations before they begin their
duties
• Report findings that are impartial and
accurate, acknowledge positives as well
as negative of the process, and based on
facts observed not on opinions

Global Standards for Election Observers


• Maintain strict non-partisanship
• Promote nonviolence
• Respect the law and rights of citizens to
vote and to be elected
• Recognize the role of the election
authorities at all levels and not interfere
in their work
• Safeguard the rights of all voters to have
a secret ballot and to participate in the
elections
• Safeguard the rights of all political
parties and candidates to participate in
the elections
• Provide impartial and accurate reports
about the positives and the negatives
observed in the elections

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For more information, best practice
guidance and tools, please visit www.
gndem.org
To see the entire Global Principles for
Non-partisan Election Observation in
Myanmar language please see: http://
www.merin-online.org/wp-content/
uploads/2015/09/GNDEM-Burmese1.
pdf

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Practical Tips for Observers

Before Election Day:


 Be sure you know how to contact your
observer organization if you have any
questions or problems on Election Day.
 Be sure to study materials provided by
your organization, possibly including an
observation checklist, observer manual,
and the observer code of conduct.

On Election Day:
 Bring your identification card.
 Bring your observer materials, pens,
note book, food, and water.
 Bring a mobile phone or have a plan
how to contact your organization if
necessary.
 Introduce yourself to polling officials at
the polling station.
 Stay alert to the process in the polling
station, as well as the situation around
the polling station.
 Remain aware of possible security
problems.

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 Remember to abide by the Code of
Conduct and remain neutral throughout
Election Day.
 Share your findings with your
organization according to their
instructions.

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Useful Resources for
Election Observers

The following websites propose resources


about Myanmar electoral system which can
useful to Domestic International Observers:

 International IDEA’s Myanmar page:


www.idea.int/asia_pacific/myanmar
 National Democratic Institute (NDI)’s
Myanmar page: www.ndi.org/burma
 International Republican Institute
(IRI)’s Myanmar content list: www.iri.
org/country/burma
 International Foundation for Electoral
Systems (IFES)’ Myanmar page: www.
ifes.org/myanmar
 Asia Network for Free Elections
(ANFREL)’s Myanmar page: www.
anfrel.org/category/country-profiles/
myanmar
 Union Election Commission: www.
uecmyanmar.org
 IDEA’s English Myanmar Glossary

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of Democratic Terms: www.
democraticglossary.org.mm
 Myanmar Electoral Resource and
Information Network: www.merin-
online.org
 Myanmar Information Management
Unit (for detailed maps of Myanmar):
www.themimu.info

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CODE OF CONDUCT FOR
DOMESTIC ELECTION
OBSERVERS

The Union of the Republic of Myanmar


Union Election Commission
Nay Pyi Taw
Notification No.1/2015
The 15th Tabaung Wanning, 1376 M.E.
(19th March 2015)

Issuance of Code of Conduct for Domestic


Election Observers

In accordance with the Election Law, Session


(90), The Union Election Commission is
using the authority being granted by this law
in order for the election observers to observe
Hluttaw Elections, the following rules are
announced.

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Code of Conduct for Domestic Election
Observers
1. Election Observers must respect the
sovereignty of the Republic of the Union
of Myanmar and the fundamental rights
and responsibilities of its citizens.
2. Election Observers must respect the
laws of the Union of Myanmar and
Bylaws and Instructions issued by the
Union Election Commission.
3. Election observers must conduct their
functions in non-partisan and impersonal
ways.
4. Election observers shall adhere to
neutrality.
5. Election Observers shall not conduct any
behavior and speech that can generate
the impression of supporting, objection
and campaign for either a political party
or a candidate. Election Observers shall
not wear or hold any cloth, symbols or
marks that can generate such impression.
6. Within 15 yards of the area of the polling
station, Election Observers, in order to
maintain the secrecy of the vote, are not

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allowed to ask any voter who has cast
the vote regarding which candidate he/
she has cast their vote for.
7. Election Observers shall respect the
region and ethnic culture.
8. The responsible persons and supervisors
of the election observers have the duty
to attend the occasional events held
by Union Election Commission or
respective Election Sub-commissions to
present the instructions and information.
9. Election Observers shall display the
ID cards issued by Union Election
Commission and respective Election
Sub-commission throughout their
election observation.
10. Only the spokespersons of the Election
Observation Organizations shall make
statements regarding the election
observation activities.
11. The Election Observation Organizations
have the responsibilities to educate and
conduct trainings to their members on
the Code of Conduct, the electoral laws
and regulations, and the convenience for

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differently abled persons to cast their
votes secretly..
12. Election Observers are prohibited from
carrying any weapon or explosive
material while they are conducting the
election observation activities.
13. Election Observers shall not conduct
any act that will have influence upon
the duties and rights of electoral
management bodies and voters.
14. Election Observers shall not involve
in voting, vote-counting and the
announcement of the results.
15. Election Observers shall perform
their duties with full of good-will and
transparency..
16. Election Observers shall submit their
reports correctly and honestly.
17. Election observers can give special
consideration to cooperation and
information sharing with other Election
Observers.
18. Election Observers shall not intervene
in decision making of electoral officials
over electoral disputes.

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19. In order not to disturb the secret voting
system in the polling station, Election
Observers shall follow the conduct of
presiding officer in accordance with his/
her duty.

Chairman
Union Election Commission

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Note