The citizens of Myanmar including we, the Fifth Pillar team were excited and waiting for a day to make the most powerful decision through ticking or stamping on the enveloped cards. That day was the November 8,2020. It was the day a very important general election of Myanmar was held in the mist of COVID-19. We, the citizens of Myanmar went out to vote for our representatives who can work well for the country.
As the democracy gives power to the citizens, applying that power wisely would matter for every citizen. In order to support the positive impacted democracy in Myanmar, the Fifth Pillar educates community members, especially, young people to comprehend the democracy by offering civic and voter education training. The outcomes of our work hardness could be seen during the election.
One of TFP’s voter education training participants, Thin Kyi Aung shared her experience in election day, “I took my chance and this my first voting was well-experienced. I checked every voting card not to be invalid. There was a wrong card in state and region parliament with Amyotha Hluttaw card (Upper house) but I informed the polling station officers and changed the right one.”
She was the first-time youth voter in 2020 election and attended the voter education training hosted by TFP. “There were some management errors in polling station but I am proud to be able to apply the knowledge from voter education training and thanks to TFP”. She posted on Facebook in election day.
Another TFP’s alumni, Chue Thwel also shared her experience. She was very excited and proud to be able to take the responsibility of a citizen but not satisfied with the management of polling station. “When I arrived at the polling station, I wasn’t satisfied with the voting room because it had no cover and every one could see whom I was voting and another thing was that there was too much ink in ethnic affair card”, she wrote on Facebook.
Chue Thwel was an active participant of TFP’s TOT program and conducted peer voter education training two times for 30 youth. By collaborating with TFP, she helped the disable people to be able to easily vote in election at Shwe Pyi Thar constituency, Yangon as well.
The Fifth Pillar team actively participated and supported the 2020 election directly and indirectly. Therefore, TFP has learned a lot from the election and been aware of the weakness of the polling station management and people’s understanding on the election and democracy.