Myanmar or Burma held its historic and landmark parliamentary elections with wins on the side of Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition National League for Democracy.
In the capital of Yangon, shouts of triumph from crowds packed on the streets of the NLD’s headquarters are heard as results of the election in favor of Suu Kyi’s party are announced. According to the NLD’s spokesperson, of the unofficial returns coming in from all over the country, the opposition got 80% of the total votes, assuring the Aung San Suu Kyi – NLD party its victory.
It may be early to declare victory, but a local media reported that Suu Kyi’s NLD got at least 49 out of the 54 seats in the lower house of parliament. The election returns expected to come in are hundreds more coming from “remote areas with poor infrastructure”
On the other hand, the incumbent President Thein Sein of the military-backed ruling party acknowledged losing in last Sunday’s election, dubbed as Myanmar’s most free election. Sein – who was a former military general had been instrumental in instituting and executing political reforms in the country. But he had only garnered three (3) seats for his party, while he lost even his own seat in Myanmar’s top post.
In spite of this anticipated defeat, the incumbent president promised that “the outcome” of the people’s votes will be respected. However, he said the road toward a full democracy will be tougher than expected. The country had been under military rule for decades and system had been shaped and partial to a military dominated houses of parliament.
The voting public elects 168 out of the 224 representatives in the Upper Parliament House but 56 seats are reserved for lawmakers under military appointment. Meanwhile, in the lower house, 110 are reserved for lawmakers appointed by the military and 325 are decided by the voting public.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD’s party has started celebrating its early wins, but to face the challenges of the aftermath of the election is a more concern that would configure the party’s political agenda in favor of the voting public.