Japan and UNDP hand over solar lamps to Union Electoral CommissionNov 2, 2015
[Nay Pyi Taw – November 2] More than 51,000 solar lamps that will light up 25,649 polling stations with no or unreliable electricity supply, were handed over to the Union Electoral Commission (UEC) in Nay Pyi Taw last week.
The purchase of the solar lamps was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with funding support from Japan.
The Ambassador of Japan H.E. Mr. Tateshi Higuchi handed over 51,298 solar lamps to the UEC Chairman U Tin Aye last Friday. These lamps are to provide suitable lighting in the 25,649 polling stations that the UEC estimate do not have access to electricity for the upcoming elections.
“Holding a free and fair election is very important not only for the Myanmar people but also for the international community. I sincerely wish that the solar lamps provided by the Government of Japan can contribute to this goal,” said HE Mr. Higuchi.
Mr Kurbanov thanked Ambassador Higuchi for the continued support of Japan for the development of elections in Myanmar.
“After a difficult monsoon season, the need for solar lamps is even clearer. These lamps will ensure that the counting can take place as planned across Myanmar regardless of local electricity supply and weather conditions,” said UNDP Country Director Toily Kurbanov.
The solar lamps provide up to 12 hours of light, which will enable the Union Electoral Commission to meet an important goal of electoral administration – to count ballot papers swiftly and accurately at a local level. Being able to count locally, in the presence of local observers and candidate’s agents, will help build confidence in the integrity of the results as they are compiled and collated by the Commission.
UNDP supports the development of democratic governance in Myanmar. For the upcoming elections, UNDP has supported the Union Electoral Commission with the purchase of the solar lamps and indelible ink for use in the polling stations.
UNDP has also conducted candidate information sessions and workshops on electoral security coordination.