Thursday, 12 November 2015

Aung San Suu Kyi wins Myanmar's Historic election

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13 November, U.S.,

Aung San Suu Kyi wins Myanmar's Historic election Photon Journal, Journal of Public Administration, Photon Foundation

Election commission says National League for Democracy has won outright majority in parliament, ending decades of military dominance. Aung San Suu Kyi has won Myanmar’s landmark election and claimed a staggering majority in parliament, ending half a century of dominance by the military and providing the symbol of a decades-old democracy movement with a mandate to rule.

The NLD had won 348 out of the 431 seats, comfortably sufficient to take it beyond the 67 per cent of constituencies in play that it needs to override the military’s parliamentary holdings.The government’s election commission in the capital of Naypyidaw said the National League for Democracy ( NLD) party had won 348 seats across the lower and upper house of parliament, 19 more than the 329 needed for an absolute majority. With only 83% of the results announced so far this week, the NLD’s majority is likely to rise yet further. Although Aung San Suu Kyi is banned from the presidency under an army-drafted constitution, her party will now be able to push through legislation, form a government and handpick a president.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest, has said that a triumph for the NLD would place her “above the president”. NLD government would be the first administration not chosen by the country’s military establishment and their political allies since the early 1960s, army dictatorship. This is a ray of sunshine, albeit with many clouds in the heavens. In an interview with BBC's Fergal Keane, Ms Suu Kyi said the polls were not fair but "largely free". The military-backed Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) has been in power in Myanmar since 2011.

Aung San Suu Kyi said she would find a president as required, but "that won't stop her from making all the decisions as the leader of the winning party". If this was fair, she said: "I believe in transparency and accountability... it works much better if I'm open about it, if I tell the people."

"Even with the people behind her, Aung San Suu Kyi will face problems — because if she tries to force her way with the military, it will be like 'inviting a bull'. Military still controls important political decisions.

Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy has surged easily past the supermajority needed to trump the military’s guaranteed 25 per cent bloc in the legislature, a stunning nationwide performance that echoed its landslide win in a 1990 poll annulled by the then Junta. Early results point to a sweeping victory for her National League for Democracy, but final official results will not be known for days. Results from Sunday's election are slowly being announced (intentionally). The election commission says the NLD has taken 78 of the 88 seats announced so far for the 440-seat lower house of parliament. Ms Suu Kyi cannot be chosen as president because the constitution blocks people with foreign offspring from holding the post. Clause 58 of the Myanmar's constitution states that the president "takes precedence over all other persons" in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Myanmar's army installed retired senior officers in the ruling party to fill Cabinet posts and granted itself constitutional powers, including control of powerful ministries and a quarter of seats in the 664-member two-chamber Parliament. In case of emergency, a special military-led body can even assume state powers. Another provision bars Suu Kyi from the presidency because her sons hold foreign citizenship.