Now Suu Kyi must live up to her promises

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Suu Kyi wins electionsThe landslide victory of the National League for Democracy of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi brought the party 163 out of 182 counted seats across the lower and upper houses as of November 11, the Union Election Commission said, as well as a similar majority of votes counted for the 14 regional assemblies.

It needs a combined 329 to give it a majority in the two houses of the national Assembly of the Union, where the military retains an automatic 25 per cent of the seats in each.

There remain two pressing questions now: Will the military honour the result by taking its grip from power and not just say that they “accept the outcome of the elections” and that they have lost? There are still hardline members of the old guard for whom Suu Kyi is still an enemy, and they are far from being democracy-minded.

According to the constitution, the army still has significant veto power in parliament and still dominates important ministries such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, border contrl and police. as well as the Defense Ministry. Apart from that, Its powerful security council can override the constitution anytime. Under the constitution, the military can take direct overall control of the government, including management of the economy, if it deems it necessary.

In an ideal case, the army would relent and focus on security issues. But the question will also be how it will carry on with its highly networked relations to the opium and jade mafia in the country.

The second questions is whether Suu Kyi is able to live up to her promises because Myanmar’s problems are still plentiful and complex. The NLD said it will install the rule of law as one of the most important changes as both businesses and people in their every-day life need regulations and norms on which they can rely. Trust in the government and officials is very low, and many citizens feel betrayed and deceived. People also expect more jobs and better education. The hopes are big, and the challenges to meet them too.

Observers are also wondering about how Suu Kyi is going to govern the country. While she won a seat in the parliament, but cannot become president herself, there are speculations that she might install a president to run the country in her stead, which means it would be a weak president.

She already said that she will be “above the president”, despite the constitutional ban on her taking the top post, and has called for a national reconciliation government. She also noted that the president will “have no authority” and “will act in accordance with the decisions of the party”.

A weak president, on the other hand, could have troubles to keep the military at distance and also to resolve problems with ethnic minorities because he most likely wouldn’t be respected by the clan leaders in the north. And the Rohingya issue, as well as the growing tensions between Muslims and Buddhists, hasn’t even been touched during elections and remain one of the biggest challenges for a future Myanmar government.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The landslide victory of the National League for Democracy of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi brought the party 163 out of 182 counted seats across the lower and upper houses as of November 11, the Union Election Commission said, as well as a similar majority of votes counted for the 14 regional assemblies.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Suu Kyi wins electionsThe landslide victory of the National League for Democracy of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi brought the party 163 out of 182 counted seats across the lower and upper houses as of November 11, the Union Election Commission said, as well as a similar majority of votes counted for the 14 regional assemblies.

It needs a combined 329 to give it a majority in the two houses of the national Assembly of the Union, where the military retains an automatic 25 per cent of the seats in each.

There remain two pressing questions now: Will the military honour the result by taking its grip from power and not just say that they “accept the outcome of the elections” and that they have lost? There are still hardline members of the old guard for whom Suu Kyi is still an enemy, and they are far from being democracy-minded.

According to the constitution, the army still has significant veto power in parliament and still dominates important ministries such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, border contrl and police. as well as the Defense Ministry. Apart from that, Its powerful security council can override the constitution anytime. Under the constitution, the military can take direct overall control of the government, including management of the economy, if it deems it necessary.

In an ideal case, the army would relent and focus on security issues. But the question will also be how it will carry on with its highly networked relations to the opium and jade mafia in the country.

The second questions is whether Suu Kyi is able to live up to her promises because Myanmar’s problems are still plentiful and complex. The NLD said it will install the rule of law as one of the most important changes as both businesses and people in their every-day life need regulations and norms on which they can rely. Trust in the government and officials is very low, and many citizens feel betrayed and deceived. People also expect more jobs and better education. The hopes are big, and the challenges to meet them too.

Observers are also wondering about how Suu Kyi is going to govern the country. While she won a seat in the parliament, but cannot become president herself, there are speculations that she might install a president to run the country in her stead, which means it would be a weak president.

She already said that she will be “above the president”, despite the constitutional ban on her taking the top post, and has called for a national reconciliation government. She also noted that the president will “have no authority” and “will act in accordance with the decisions of the party”.

A weak president, on the other hand, could have troubles to keep the military at distance and also to resolve problems with ethnic minorities because he most likely wouldn’t be respected by the clan leaders in the north. And the Rohingya issue, as well as the growing tensions between Muslims and Buddhists, hasn’t even been touched during elections and remain one of the biggest challenges for a future Myanmar government.

 

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