RANGOON — The European Union has deployed an initial team of election analysts to observe Burma’s forthcoming election, the EU said in a press release this week, its first such mission in the country.
Following an invitation from Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC), the EU has established an Election Observation Mission (EOM) comprising nine analysts, 30 long-term observers and 62 short-term observers to be deployed across the country.
The analysts arrived in Burma on Sept. 26 and will stay throughout the completion of the election process. Long-term observers will be deployed on Oct. 7, and will be joined by the short-term team on Nov. 2.
A delegation of European diplomats and EU parliamentarians will also be in-country on election day to reinforce the observation mission, which is meant to underscore the EU’s “commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.”
Observers will be dispatched during all stages of the electoral process, including advance voting, and will observe every state and division. The mission will issue a preliminary statement 48 hours after election day, and will later release a more comprehensive report with recommendations, the statement said.
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, a vice president of the European Parliament, said he was “honored” to be appointed as chief observer, calling the forthcoming poll “a key opportunity to further consolidate democracy in the country.”
Burma’s Nov. 8 poll will be the first nationwide election since the former military junta ceded power to a quasi-civilian government in 2011. It is hoped to be the country’s freest and fairest vote in decades, though concerns have been raised about procedures leading up to election day.
The international community has called for a credible, transparent and inclusive election, with particular attention paid to voter lists, advance voting and issues of enfranchisement.