First-Time Voter, Thundar Myo Nyunt, Myanmar
Myanmar’s November 2015 elections marked an important milestone in the country’s democratic transition. Over 90 parties and 6,000 candidates vied for seats in the polls and this was the first time observer missions were accredited, with 10,000 domestic and 1,000 international observers monitoring the vote. The opposition National League for Democracy, led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won 77 percent of the seats, and the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party graciously conceded defeat in what has been hailed as a historic moment for democracy in Myanmar.
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provided technical assistance to the Union Election Commission in preparation for the vote and worked with civil society to inform voters and advocate for inclusive, credible and transparent elections.
For many voters in Myanmar, such as Thundar Myo Nyunt from IFES Myanmar, the November 8 general elections were their first opportunity to vote. After voting, she excitedly said, "I'm just so excited to vote for the first time, I'm really elated!"