A smartphone app developed for Myanmar’s Nov. 8 election with assistance from worldwide associations seems to have been taken out from flow and might be corrected after analysis over its utilization of a label for Rohingya Muslims that the Rohingya view as disdainful.
The mVoter2020 app launched on Tuesday and pointed toward improving voter awareness, labels at least two candidates belonging to the Rohingya ethnic group as “Bengali”, a term that suggests they are immigrants from Bangladesh and is dismissed by numerous Rohingya.
The app was not accessible to download for portable and a web form was blocked off on Friday, raising a mistake message that read “Server is temporarily closed”.
Marcus Brand, the country director of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), which is based in Stockholm and helped develop the app, said he comprehended it had been eliminated while conversations were progressing however didn’t have further details.
Brand said the group was advising the removal of contentious words used to identify candidates’ ethnic background.
“We are advocating the electoral authorities to remove this data from the app in order to ensure candidate security and� increase the integrity of the process.
The app was developed by Myanmar’s Union Election Commission (UEC), with help from STEP Democracy, an European Union-funded project implemented in Myanmar by International IDEA, and the U.S.-based Asia Foundation.
Pierre Michel, public diplomacy adviser to the EU’s Myanmar mission, Said, the EU “ought to have been cautioned about the consideration of unfair information” in the app and was “thinking about all alternatives” concerning how to respond.
The UEC and Asia Foundation didn’t respond quickly to requests for comment.
Brand said International IDEA’s role was to digitize candidate registration forms for a database and that it did not have “technical nor editorial control” app’s content. The UEC expects candidates to submit citizenship records that characterize them by their race and religion.
“We do not generally think that advertising the ethnic and religious identification of candidates is advisable in the Myanmar context,” Brand said.
Activist group Justice for Myanmar said in an announcement on Wednesday that the app risked “inflaming ethnic and religious nationalism during the election”.
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