Following decades of military rule and local armed conflicts, the 2015 elections represented a significant turning point for Myanmar, which is now undergoing its democratic transition. In 2013, Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC) started to engage with political parties to prepare for the elections. Given the strength of the opposition since the 2012 by-elections and country’s electoral history, which until 2010 involved overturning election results and incarcerating members of political parties, the level of trust between the political parties and the UEC was low.
At the end of 2013, the UEC chairman presented its strategic planning for the 2015 elections to the former chairman of the National Election Commission of Nepal and Swiss experts, who also shared international experiences of attempts to foster confidence in the electoral process. The UEC chairman expressed a particular interest in a voluntary Code of Conduct for Peaceful Elections that would be drafted by the political parties, provided it adhered to the country’s legal framework.