Myanmar’s Wards or Village Tract Administrator Elections

thagyiWard or Village Tract Administrators (WA/VTA), formerly known as Thagyi or Chairman of Village Council, headmen of villages or wards, are the basic important role of public administration. It is also the main link between communities and the state playing a key role the local government. These headmen were the important unit leaders and trusted servants of Burma Kings, the representatives of the Crown through the British Colonial bureaucracy and the internally appointed headmen by the military regime. During the period of U Thein Sein government and the new 2008 constitution, the new Ward or Village Tract Administrative Law and By-law were enacted but largely unchanged. After recent Myanmar General Election 2015, U Thein Sein government planned to hold the WA/VTA elections in each of the wards and village tracts before the new NLD government according to the enacted law and by-law. However, there were many challenges and criticisms to those elections among the communities. (For more information, read NPA WA VTA Workshop Report.)

After the active meeting for WA/VTA election issues with local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from States and Regions in January, 2016, New Myanmar Foundation (NMF) had conducted the ground, network and online election education activities for Ward and Village Tract Administrator Elections, most of them were not well prepared and systematic elections. NMF had distributed thousands of election education pamphlets and hundreds of posters or vinyls with the partner organizations especially in three townships, North-Dagon, Kyauktada and Dala Township. Although it was very difficult to say the exact date and time to hold the elections in each wards or village tracts, NMF emphasized to spread the Ward or Village Tract Administrative Law and By-Law including the structure of the Ministry of Home Affairs.


During the approximate period of the elections, NMF had partially observed the three processes, selecting or nominating the election administrators (yat-mi-yat-pha), selecting the 10-household representatives and WA/VTA in the above three townships. NMF released the preliminary observation report on WA/VTA elections in April 5th, 2016.

Report: Election Observation and Recommendations (Myanmar Language)

Report: WA/VTA Post-Election Online Survey Report (Myanmar Language)


In the post election period, NMF had participated to the series of meeting with local CSOs for recommendation and advocacy for amending the WA/VTA Law and By-law. There were 60 local CSOs in the final discussion workshop for amending law. (Read the suggesting recommendations of law amendment.)NMF is currently taking online survey to understand the wider aspect of the WA/VTA elections following up the preliminary findings. Right now, the third time amendment bill of WA/VTA is being discussed in Parliament. NMF and the partner CSOs are planning for the follow-up programs including the performance monitoring the WA/VTA and the role of the local government. ­

Early 2016 WA/VTA Election Related Photo Gallery