Democracy Triumphs in Historic Myanmar Election

By: Joseph Spirk

After years of military control, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has successfully introduced the principles and beliefs of democracy by giving the country’s leading pro-democracy party, The National League for Democracy, a majority of seats in both houses of Parliament.

The National League for Democracy was founded and is headed by Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi. Aung San Suu Kyi grew up in a very politically-involved family. Her father, Aung San, helped found the modern Burmese army and helped negotiate Burma’s independence from the British Empire in 1947. He was assassinated by his rivals the same year. Her mother, Khin Kyi, was the Burmese Ambassador to the Republic of India.

Aung San grew up with her mother and two brothers in the southern coastal city of Rangoon. Her eldest brother emigrated to San Diego, California, and eventually became a United States citizen.

The election on November 8 was the first openly-contested election held in the country since 1990. Unlike other Democracies around the world heads of government are nominated by the majority party in Parliament. Therefore, by gaining a majority of seats in the national Parliament the NLD ensured their nominees with become President and Vice-President in the Presidential Electoral College.

However, since Aung San Suu Kyi married a foreigner (her husband was born in the United Kingdom), she is barred from the Presidency according to the Burmese Constitution.

She has declared that she will hold the real power in any National League for Democracy-led government.




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