Myanmar Election Panel

DATE        Fri Nov 6, 2020

TIME         14:00 – 15:00 AEDT

PLACE      Zoom

The 8th of November 2020 will be the third election in Myanmar under its 2008 constitution. It will be held in extremely challenging circumstances, but may establish a new balance of power to take forward the next stage of democratisation. Hear from three speakers to give their perspectives on the election and the work that they are involved in.




Ying Lao, Deputy Director of the Salween Institute for Public Policy, Myanmar,

Born and raised in Shan State, Ying Lao has extensive experience in civic engagement and has actively taken part in numerous political and human rights campaigns. She was a member of Federal Constitution Drafting and Coordinating Committee (Burma) as a representative of Shan Women’s Action Network and Women’s League of Burma. In 2004-2005, she served as a coordinator for Joint Action Committee on Basic Principles for a Future Federal Constitution (Burma). She is fluent in Shan, Burmese, Thai and English. Recent work by the Salween Institute has included reports on the electoral system, and an advisory publication for ethnic political parties (see )


Tay Zar Myo Win, Support to Electoral Processes and Democracy  (STEP) program, International IDEA, Myanmar

Tay Zar coordinates all partnership efforts and activities of the four national partners within the STEP Consortium, supporting them organizationally, operationally, and through consultation, particularly for civic and voter education. He also worked as a consultant to support electoral assistance to Election Management Body for Yangon City Development Committee Election in 2019. He has over eight years of experience in managing multiple grants with civil society organizations to implement civic and voter education programs. He also has the experience of developing Civic Education Curriculums. His main research interests include analysing electoral systems, democratization, local governance, and public participation in politics.

For more info on IIDEA’s work on the election see and


Michael Breen, McKenzie Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Michael’s research focuses on federalism in Asia, and the management of ethnic diversity. He is the author of ‘The Road to Federalism in Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka: Finding the Middle Ground’ (2018, Routledge) and has contributed to Nepal’s constitution-making process that established it as a federal democratic republic. Michael’s research also explores the role of deliberative democracy and the use of deliberative polling in constitution-making and conflict management. Prior to academia, Michael was a policy maker, negotiator and project manager in various government departments in Australia and international organisations including the United Nations Development Programme. His professional background is in Indigenous rights and native title, political inclusion and environmental conservation.