Democracy set to return in Myanmar;NLD eyes landslide

RSTV Bureau
Leader of Myanmar's National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi. Photo - PTI

Leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Photo – PTI

Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party National League for Democracy (NLD) appeared on the verge of a landslide election win that could finally reset Myanmar to democracy after decades of army control. A top member of the army-backed ruling party Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) also confirmed the near complete loss in the polls.

“Our USDP lost completely. The NLD has won,” senior party member Kyi Win told a news agency from party headquarters in the capital Naypyidaw.

As per the local reports, the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party is facing a rout in the polls after clinging thin to just five seats in a strong 440-seat house.

“This is the fate of our country. Let them (the NLD) work. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has to take responsibility now… we congratulate them anyway,” the ruling party member added even though the official announcement of NLD’s victory is yet to happen.

On the other hand, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi expressed her commitment of healthy parliamentary majority.

“We probably will get between, around 75 per cent in the union legislature,” she told the BBC in an interview.

Mandalay : People stand outside a polling station in Mandalay, Myanmar, Sunday Nov. 8, 2015. Myanmar voted Sunday in historic elections that will test whether popular mandate will help loosen the military’s longstanding hold on power even if opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party secures a widely-expected victory. PTI Photo

Mandalay : People stand outside a polling station in Mandalay, Myanmar, Sunday Nov. 8, 2015. Myanmar voted Sunday in historic elections that will test whether popular mandate will help loosen the military’s longstanding hold on power even if opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party secures a widely-expected victory. PTI Photo

The polls, the first contested by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy since 1990, saw voter turnout hit around 80 percent as Myanmar’s long-suffering people made their voice known at the ballot box.

The military ruled the country with an iron fist for half a century, jailing and silencing dissenters and flat-lining the economy with madcap policies and alleged corruption in public services. The military eventually stepped aside in 2011 in favour of a quasi-civilian regime.

Though the NLD voters remained confident of a major win, they were cautious of kickback from the still powerful army, whose stake in the future is guaranteed by a 25 percent bloc of reserved seats in parliament.

“I think the results will come soon, but I’m worried,” said Ma Pyone, a vegetable seller in downtown Yangon adding “I don’t know if the current government will seize power (if they lose) or not, but I hope they won’t.”

Pro-democracy NLD needs 67 percent of contested seats across both houses of parliament for a majority. But anything higher would bolster its parliamentary leverage against the army.

Meanwhile, Suu Kyi’s political ascent is capped by the army-scripted constitution that bars anyone with foreign children from the presidency.

(With inputs from the Agencies)