Suu Kyi retains power

The governing party of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has won enough parliamentary seats to form the next government, official results showed on Friday.

According to the latest batch of results from Sunday’s vote, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has secured the 322 seats in the bicameral legislature needed to form a government, reports Al Jazeera.

The NLD has taken 346 seats of the 412 seats that have been declared, with results from 64 more yet to be announced. The governing party declared earlier this week that its own tallies showed it had won a landslide victory.

“People clearly realised the need for the NLD to get enough votes to form a government on their own,” NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told the AFP news agency, adding this would help “minimise political conflict”.

Confirmation of the comfortable win will be a welcome boost for Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate who has had a turbulent first term marked by a brutal 2017 crackdown on the ethnic Rohingya that is now the subject of a genocide investigation, a failure to make significant headway on the country’s myriad ethnic conflicts and now the coronavirus.

Myanmar suffered nearly 50 years of isolation and decay under strict military rule, and Aung San Suu Kyi herself spent many years under house arrest before the generals began to loosen their hold on power and the first elections were held in 2011.

Even now, her government is required to govern with military involvement, in particular in the areas of security and defence, under a constitution that was drafted during the generals’ rule.

This time, the ballot was seen as a referendum on Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, which maintained its popularity at home even as the Rohingya crisis damaged its international reputation. Rohingya were excluded from the poll, while voting was cancelled in some conflict areas, affecting some 1.5 million people.


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