National Election 2015
During Burma’s 2015 national elections, the People’s Alliance for Credible Elections (PACE) designed and implemented an observation that incorporated a focus on VAW-E. Although its systematic observation efforts did not reveal a pattern of violence, PACE did receive anecdotal reports of isolated incidents outside the context of its formal observation. These included slanderous comments made against specific women candidates: for example, that one unmarried woman candidate became pregnant and had an abortion.
Observer groups often face challenges in observing VAW-E. Because it frequently occurs in private or in protected spaces such as political parties, observers are unable to enter and monitor it—though it is important to note that none of the citizen observation groups operating in Burma’s 2015 elections found evidence that VAW-E was happening outside of isolated attacks. When analyzing results of an observation in any country, it is important for observers to keep in mind the particular challenges they face in observing VAW-E -- a phenomenon that is often hidden from view.
As reported to PACE through its observation, men and women alike indicated that they did not face intimidation, and PACE found that the general campaign environment was smooth.
Before the Election
To do so, they deployed 129 long-term observers, and in May 2015, deployed nearly 500 volunteers to conduct interviews with voters and candidates to gauge their understanding and perceptions of the election. This data is not nationally representative, but helped PACE paint a more comprehensive picture of the campaign environment.
About the Observation
Of these, 109 were selected non-randomly based on polling station distributions across the states and regions to provide an overview of national trends. An additional 20 townships were selected as "hot spot" areas, including places with high profile candidates, a history of problematic elections, a high number of migrant workers, on-going conflict or inter-communal tensions.
On election day, PACE deployed 2098 observers to monitor the electoral process at polling stations. These observers were systematically distributed throughout the country, and were stationed at more than 950 polling stations and 41 tabulation centers.