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Myanmar: We were born to vote freely

Foto: PIN Archive

In November 2010, Burma held its first general election since 1990 when the military took power from the democratic government. In April 2012, mid-term elections were held to fill 46 vacant parliamentary seats. Now, in November 2015, second general election will be held in all constituencies.

It is necessary to ensure that citizens are able to participate in electoral politics. That is why we support various local civil society organizations who provide basic training and education for voters. Thanks to our funding, the Kayin Development Network (KDN) organized voter education training on Oct 29th in the village of Mayingone. The village is about 1 hour drive from Hpa-an township and populated mostly by members of the Kayin minority. Among the rural population, the level of general knowledge about democratic participation is quite low and no such training was held there before

The local people and authorities were eager to participate and devoted as much time and energy as possib.e Although the transportation is difficult in the rainy season, many of them traveled all the way from Hap-an. The participants were quite interested in the details of electoral process and the attendance was much higher than expected. "Voting the leader of our nation is a very important thing and we all were born to vote freely. Besides, I am very happy to help here as a translator from Burmese to Kayin" said the village administrator of Mayingone.

Thanks to the training provided by the KDN, local people were able to learn about thing that their government never told them. KDN have arranged to do follow up training in this village again and all the participants indicated that they would like to come again. We hope that the participants will share their knowledge of electoral system with their friends and families, so that the local population will successfully choose their democratic government and leader.

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