Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Hints At Election Win; Rohingya Barred From Voting

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This Rohingya Muslim woman is one of the reported few to have cast her vote in Myanmar’s historic elections on Sunday. The Rohingya Muslims claim they were barred from voting. REUTERS/Sai Aung Min

By Staff Reporter

Preliminary results from Myanmar’s first free elections in 25 years indicate a landslide victory for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD). It is expected to win the largest share of votes from an electorate of about 30 million according to results reported by Reuters.

On Monday, the country’s election commission announced that NLD had won all 12 of the parliamentary seats declared in the first round of results after Sunday’s general election .

Earlier, NLD’s senior official and spokesman Han Tha Myint said in an interview that while they were certainly in the lead, it was hard to say whether the party would be able to secure two-third majority in the Parliament to form an independent government.

Ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) leader Htay Oo admitted defeat to NDL, stating that they’d have to look into their reasons for their loss. Htay Oo said that whilst the outcome is yet to be confirmed, they would accept the final results without reservation.

Whilst free elections may be a step in the right direction given Myanmar’s history with military junta rule, the ground reality makes the democratic situation unpredictable. One milion Rohingya minority, essentially stateless in their own country, were barred from voting. Only few who had been granted citizenship by the state were able to participate in the elections.

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses supports during election rally. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses supports during election rally. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Moreover, the current military-drafted constitution guarantees one-quarter of parliament’s seats to unelected members of the armed forces, meaning the military will retain significant power. It is also worthy of notice that Suu Kyi would be prevented from presidency regardless of victory because of a constitutional clause drafted by the junta to maintain its power.

The final picture will become clearer by Tuesday.

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