In Myanmar, the laws that governs political funding and campaign finance issues are covered by these following laws;
- Union Election Commission Law
- Political Parties Registration Law
- Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house) Election Law
- Amoyotha Hluttaw (upper house) Election Law
- Region Hluttaw or State Hluttaw Election Law
For the 2015 Election, the election laws do not specifically regulate election campaigning, although the UEC has drafted (but not yet adopted) a Directive on the Right of Hluttaw Candidates to Rally and Campaign. According to the draft directive, the campaign period will be 30 days, though the UEC has publicly stated that the campaign period would be extended to 60 days. On Jan. 16, the UEC issued a statement that the directive would not apply to pre-election “canvassing.” This has created some confusion among party representatives. The directive also sets out other requirements (including advance approval for campaign events) and restrictions (including on content critical of the army, religion, and the nation). In practice, the liveliness, freedom, and equality of the election campaign will depend, to a large extent, on the implementation and interpretation of this directive by the UEC and its sub-commissions.
Political parties are required to submit detailed plans for public events and trainings (including a list of participants and topics to be discussed) to the township sub-commission at least one week in advance. In the absence of a UEC regulation covering pre-election activity by parties, these activities are subject to the discretion of the local authorities, which some parties perceive as being exercised arbitrarily. Though local-level discretion has the potential to curtail party activities, it appears that permission is rarely denied. In some states and regions, more permissive arrangements have been agreed upon. In Mon State, for example, parties stated that they do not need to seek advance approval for public meetings (which observers corroborated in their visit to Ye Township). One party in Kayah State also reported securing a multi-month blanket approval for their activities, including opening offices and putting up signboards.
The Political Registration Law regulates fund owned by the party should be collected, consolidated, and account kept from a) party admission fees and party monthly fees from party members, b) donations from domestically present individual citizen, organization or company or group of companies owned by citizen, money or property obtained legally, and c) money and profit legally obtained from business owned by the party.
The political parties are prohibited from accepting and using directly or indirectly money, property, other aids from the foreign government, religious organizations and other organization or any person
State funds are not among the allowed sources for political parties.
Myanmar law prohibits vote-buying, but doesn’t have specific limits on election expenses as it is to be determined for each election.
Reporting of expenditure
The Myanmar law does not set any limits on expenditures of political parties. However, the party must follow these following laws;
During a term of Hluttaw:
-Party shall use the prescribed expenses in accord with the party regulations for organization of its party.
-Party shall use the prescribed expenses for each Hluttaw candidate representing and contesting for his party in the General Election or By-election.
-Party shall perform in the prescribed manner drawing its annual statement of accounts according to the financial year, compiling annual list of property owned by the party and obtaining confirmation in accord with the party regulations.
-The Commission may require to audit party’s accounts, as well as the Sub-commissions at various levels. In auditing, the Commission or Sub-commission may obtain assistance from the Government departments and organizations.
For the House of Representatives of the Myanmar Parliament and the House of the Nationalities of the Myanmar Parliament
-The election agent shall keep accounts of the expenses for the relevant election systematically as prescribed. He shall submit the accounts of such expenses in the manner prescribed to the Nay Pyi Taw Sub-commission, relevant Self-Administered Division Sub-commission, Self-Administered Zone Sub-commission or District Sub-commission.
-The maximum expenses entitled to be used for the election and the number of persons or property employed for payment for the Hluttaw candidate shall be as prescribed.
Sec 57- in Amyotha Hluttaw Election Law No. 4/2010 of 8 March 2010 and Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law No. 3/2010 of 8 March 2010
-Whoever is found guilty of violence, threat, undue influence, cheating, taking or giving of bribes to prevent a person from exercising the right of voting and the right to stand for election shall, on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with fine not exceeding one hundred thousand kyats or with both.
-Whoever is found guilty of or abetting one of the following acts shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with fine not exceeding one hundred thousand kyats or with both: Giving and taking bribes by way of money, goods, foodstuff, position or service transfer or using any other right in order to obtain the electoral right by unlawful means or as gratitude for obtaining such right;
-Whoever is found guilty of committing one of the following acts inside the polling booth or within the radius of 500 yards from the polling booth on the election day shall, on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with fine not exceeding one hundred thousand kyatsor with both: soliciting a voter to vote or exhorting and inducing him not to vote for a Hluttaw candidate.
Naing Ko Ko, ANU, Myanmar’s elections need a fraud-free makeover, East Asia Forum, Sep 4, 2015,
Amyotha Hluttaw Election Law No. 4/2010 of 8 March 2010
Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law No. 3/2010 of 8 March 2010
Political Parties Registration Law