Suu Kyi’s party wins absolute majority in Myanmar election

Yangon, Myanmar, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD), the political party headed by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has achieved an absolute majority in parliament after the weekend’s general election, according to official data released Friday.

The Electoral Commission, which continues a slow vote count, confirmed that the NLD obtained 346 seats, allowing it to govern alone, although the constitution drafted by the defunct military junta grants a fundamental role to the powerful army, which maintains control of three key ministries and a quarter of the legislature.

With these numbers, the NLD currently adds 24 seats more than the 322 necessary for a majority in the bicameral legislature, a resounding victory that could be expanded since the results of 64 seats are still to be announced.

Following her victory in the 2015 election, which culminated the transition to what the military calls a “disciplined democracy” that began five years earlier, Suu Kyi has been criticized internationally for her policies against the Rohingya ethnic minority, however the ballot box has shown that her popularity has not diminished in the country.

The big loser in the elections, with 24 seats so far, is the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the main opposition formation created by the military junta that ruled Myanmar for the last two decades of the dictatorship and which held power between 2011 and 2015.

On Wednesday, when the recount gave the NLD a clear advantage, the USDP refused to accept the results, accused the NLD of electoral fraud and proposed that the elections be repeated, this time supervised by the powerful Armed Forces.

The Carter Center – an organization created by former United States president Jimmy Carter that sent observers on election day – issued a statement Tuesday saying that “voters were able to freely express their will at the polls and choose their elected representatives,” although it criticized the constitutional system and the denial of the vote to some ethnic minorities.

Twenty-five percent of parliament, or 166 seats, are reserved for the military in accordance with the constitution it drew up and approved in 2008, which in practice gives them the right of veto to modify the Magna Carta, and grants them the influential ministries of home affairs, border and defense. EFE-EPA


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