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Democratic leader wins historic majority in Myanmar

By Jahnvi Upreti

Burmese flags waved and music flooded the streets as the people of Myanmar celebrated a historic victory at the polls on Thursday, Nov. 12, BBC reported. The leader of the National League of Democracy (NDL), Aung San Suu Kyi, led her party to an 80 percent landslide victory against the Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP), the militia-based opposing party, according to BBC. The NDL’s victory has effectively ended 50 years of sole military rule by the USDP.

According to CNN, this historic election, conducted on Sunday, Nov. 8, was held to reelect Myanmar’s official Hluttaw parliament. Though the NDL received the necessary two-thirds majority vote in order to establish its presence in the previously militarized Hluttaw, as well to choose the next president of the country, the group is still faced with tribulations by the USDP.

The election marks the country’s first national vote since the 2011 introduction of a nominally civilian government in Myanmar, and the first freest election since 1990. Suu Kyi, the NDL’s leader, is inarguably Myanmar’s favorite politician, as reported by CNN. Suu Kyi has been fighting for fair representation for the Burmese people for most of her life, even winning the Nobel Peace Prize in the process for being “an outstanding example of the power of the powerless,” CNN reported.

Suu Kyi fights to bring democray to Myanmar. AP Photo.
Suu Kyi fights to bring democray to Myanmar. AP Photo.

Even while living under house arrest for more than 15 years due to charges of “trying to divide up the military,” accusations she denies, Suu Kyi has garnered a strong and ubiquitous network of support. With her most recent victory at the polls, Suu Kyi is in a position to implement more democratic change than ever as the new face of the parliament, CNN reported.

“We believe (the NDL) can win,” Myanmarian Ayea Nyeian Thu told CNN at a rally. “We don’t want to see a military government any longer.”

The next goal the NDL has in its sight is to implement a democratically geared president, not to be elected until February 2016 at the earliest. Many have implored for Suu Kyi herself to become president, though she is banned by the military-based constitution from doing so, for she is in violation of article DF makering her  ineligible to run, CNN reported. Suu Kyi’s husband and two sons were born in England, rendering her unable to assume presidency.

“Myanmar’s transition from military rule to democracy is far from complete, and its successes to date remain fragile,” said a report by the London based policy institute, the Chatham House.

As of now, the collaboration efforts between the NDL and USDP will be monitored closely, as well as the watch for the new presidential candidates for the February 2016 election. But until then, it’s safe to say Myanmar can only improve under the leadership of Aung Sun Suu Kyi.

“Some people say it’s not time for us to achieve real democracy yet,” said Kyi, CNN reported. “But I think it’s just because they don’t want to give it to us. Everyone deserves democracy.”


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