2020 General Elections: Preliminary Report of Pre-election Survey Findings

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This is a preliminary report of the survey conducted by the People’s Alliance for Credible Elections (PACE) this year. Between August 3 and August 5, 2020, PACE conducted a total of 2577 interviews across the country to understand the general perceptions of the citizens of Myanmar, such as their level of awareness of elections and intention to vote, and to understand citizens’ perceptions of the current situation and priority issues, level of trust in different institutions, their views on different political parties, expectations on candidates, and main information sources of government and political news. However, it is important to note here that because of security and COVID-19 pandemic concerns, PACE was not able to conduct interviews in some locations in Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine states. Therefore, the findings in this report may not represent the views of citizens from those locations.

There was no statistical difference between the citizens’ level of interest in politics in 2019 and 2020 but there is a downward trend compared to 2015.

The majority of citizens agreed that secrecy of the ballots, neutrality of the election commission, no fraud in the process, a proper vote count, the accuracy or correctness of the results, equal chance to campaign, and no intimidation to voters are important factors for free and fair elections. Compared to findings from PACE’s 2015 pre-election survey, the awareness of citizens regarding free and fair elections increased. When it comes to “intention to vote”, only about half of the citizens indicated that “they will definitely vote” in the upcoming 2020 general elections. The level of voting intention remains the same in 2020 compared to 2019.

While one-third of citizens indicated that they have no concerns or barriers to vote in the elections, one third indicated that they were concerned with COVID-19 and health in relation to the elections.