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Aung San Suu Kyi’s Democratic Party Wins Majority In Myanmar Election, Secures Second Term

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party National League for Democracy (NLD) has secured a victorious majority in the 2020 Myanmar election, securing enough seats to form the next government. With this win in Myanmar’s second only general election since 50 years of oppressive military rule, NLD is set to serve its second term in Parliament. Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi has gained another five years as State Counsellor of Myanmar, despite a result disputed by the political opposition and human rights activists.

According to Indian Express, the NLD claimed 346 seats of the 412 seats, lending it the needed majority to come to power. The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the military-backed party that was Suu Kyi’s main opposition, had demanded a re-election “in order to have an election that is free, fair, unbiased and free from unfair campaigning.” Experts, however, affirmed that the electoral process was smooth and fairly conducted.

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s Politics

In Myanmar’s last general election, held in 2015, Suu Kyi’s NLD had boasted of a similar landslide victory. Despite her seeming popularity, Suu Kyi’s style of politics has long been under fire by human rights groups for allegedly being divisive and racist. In 2017, her government was accused of a crackdown on the country’s oppressed Rohingya Muslims. More than 740,000 Rohingya had fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the state’s violence.

In light of the poor human rights situation in Myanmar, Amnesty International had withdrawn its highest honour — human rights award — given to Suu Kyi, citing she “once stood as a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defence of human rights in Myanmar.” In 2017, the prestigious Oxford University College also removed a Suu Kyi portrait from their display.  

Suu Kyi defended her government in front of the International Court of Justice in 2019, saying that the allegations of genocide were “false and baseless.”

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World Leaders Congratulate Suu Kyi’s Win

Reacting to this year’s election, NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt was quoted saying, “People clearly realised the need for the NLD to get enough votes to form a government on their own,” claiming it would “minimise political conflict.” According to our previous report, “More than 37 million people out of Myanmar’s population of 56 million people (were) eligible to vote in this year’s general election.”

Suu Kyi’s win was commemorated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took to social media to congratulate her, mentioning that the polls were “another step in the ongoing democratic transition in Myanmar.”

Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Toshimitsu Motegi, also sent congratulatory messages to Suu Kyi, shared by the State Councillor’s official Twitter account. It reads, “It is appreciated that Myanmar could successfully hold the general elections amid the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country… Moreover, it is congratulated for the majority of votes secured by your National League for Democracy. Japan will continue helping Myanmar with its all-out effort in building a democratic country. For promoting the historic bilateral friendly relations between Japan and Myanmar, it is expected to make closer cooperation between us.”